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Full text of "Twenty years at court, from the correspondence of the Hon. Eleanor Stanley, maid of honour to Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, 1842-1862"

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:WENTY YEARS 
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TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



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THE HON. ELEANOR STANLEY 

From .1 mini/iturf: by Sir W Ros^ 



TWENTY YEARS 
AT COURT 

FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE 
HON. ELEANOR STANLEY 

MAID OF HONOUR TO HER LATE MAJESTY QUEKN VICTORIA 
I 842- I 862 



EDITED BY 

MRS. STEUART ERSKINE 



Xon&on 
NISBET & CO. LTD. 

22 BERNERS STREET, W. 






First Published in igi6 



TO 

MARY, COUNTESS OF ILCHESTER 

THIS VOLUME OF HER AXJNT'S LETTERS 

IS GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED 

BY THE EDITOR 



466580 



PREFACE 

The letters included in this volume are the property 
of the Hon. Mrs. Richard Dawson, daughter of 
Lt.-Col. Long and stepdaughter of the writer. 

The late Hon. Richard Dawson, nephew and 
executor of the Hon. Mrs. Long, took a keen interest 
in the publication of her correspondence, and the 
Editor would like to mention here his unfailing sym- 
pathy and helpful kindness to her during the prepara- 
tion for the press of this volume. His recent death 
is deeply lamented by all who knew him. 

To his sister, Mary, Countess of Ilchester, the 
Editor is also indebted for much useful assistance. 

The Editor would like to express her warm thanks 
to his Grace the Duke of Wellington for leave to 
reproduce some letters, and for the loan of the portrait 
of Elizabeth, Duchess of Wellington ; to Mary, 
Countess of Ilchester, the Countess of Antrim, the 
Hon. Mrs. Richard Dawson, the Hon. Victor Parnell, 
E. A. V. Stanley, Esq., James St. Leger, Esq., and the 
authorities of the British Museum for leave to repro- 



viil TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

duce portraits, sketches, and prints ; to the Earl of 
Verulam, Earl Grey, and Viscount Churchill for per- 
mission to insert letters, and to Mrs. Godfrey Clark 
for allowing her to use hitherto unpublished letters by 
Lady Louisa Stuart. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 
ELEANOR STANLEY 



PAGB 



Eleanor Stanley — Events great and small — Reticence at Court — 
Romance of Queen Victoria's reign — Miss Stanley's opinion of 
her own letters « , , X 

CHAPTER n 

THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 

Forming the new Court — Jealousy of the Whigs — " I have no 
small talk, and Peel has no manners " — Lady Louisa Stuart — 
Lord Melbourne — Court ceremony — The Norman Courts — 
The Hanoverian kings — A new era — The bedchamber ques- 
tion — Tories in office — The Royal Household — First letter 
written in waiting — The Pavilion at Brighton — The Queen 
and the Duchess of Kent — A carpet dance — Escorting the 
Duchess of Kent to her sedan chair — The Queen and Prince 
out driving — A profound secret ...,,, 9 

CHAPTER HI 

A MAID OF HONOUR 

Duties of a Maid of Honour — Letter of advice from Lady Louisa 
Stuart — A Christian duty — The awkwardest man — Period 
of transition — Political anxieties of the Queen — Domestic 
happiness — The Prince Consort — Cards at the Castle — Lady 
Charlemont — The swing — " Blue, very blue" — Princess Royal 
dressed up — The Prince Consort wins six shillings — Lady 
Charlemont again ......... 22 

CHAPTER IV 

A STATE VISIT 

The Grand Duke Michael — Prince Elie Dolgorouky — " Je vous 
dis cela en grandpapa " — ^The heir of All the Russias — 
Tobacco smoke — " Princess smell Grand Duke ! " — Tra- 
vellers' tales — The Queen changes her mind — " The light 
fantastic " — Practising reels — A cold ride — On the Terrace . 34 

is 



X TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

CHAPTER V 
CAMBRIDGE 

PAGl 

Music at Court — Princess Royal — The visit to Cambridge — 
Loyalty — Crowds of sight-seers — The ceremony — Chivalrous 
undergraduates — The Bible forgotten — Professor Sedgwick — 
Sight-seeing — Wimpole — A service of danger — Back at 
Windsor — An inconsiderate horse . . , . . ■ 52 

CHAPTER VI 

LIFE AT COURT 

A glance at the past — Ladies of the Bedchamber — Maids ot 
Honour — Strict rules of the Court of Charles I — The fasci- 
nating " Molly Lepell " — Queen Elizabeth's maids — Domes- 
ticity at Court of George III — A new era — Country life at 
Windsor — Christmas presents — " It is all over, Duke " — 
More reels — The Prince's Highland fling — The Queen has an 
accident — The Duchess of Kent and the polka — Birth of 
Prince Alfred — The Royal children — The Duke and Duchess 
of Saxe-Coburg — Death of Princess Sophia of Gloucester — 
Holiday on the Dee — " Ce petit monstre " . • . , 69 

CHAPTER Vn 

WINDSOR 

Purchase of Osborne House — The Queen and English artists — 
Stephanie de Beauhamais — Prince Charles — A manage de 
convenance — Impatient surveyors — Prevalence of gout — 
Dining with the lawyers at Lincoln's Inn — " My name is 
John " — The Prince Consort's wish — Woods and forests — 
The second Free Trade Budget — The Prince of Wales' birth- 
day — The Queen's schools — Every Man in his Humour , 95 

CHAPTER Vni 

POLITICAL CHANGES 

Politics — Paris fashions — A family group — Reports from India — 
Mr. Gladstone's mistake — Household changes — A dull 
dinner — The Prince and Princess of Prussia — An elder 
sister — New rules for Maids of Honour — The famine in 
Ireland — Discussions between Prince of Wales and Princess 
Royal — Winterhalter at work — Sir Robert and Lady Peel — 
A merry game — ^The new Household — Spanish marriages — 



CONTENTS xi 

PACK 

Floods in Scotland — A " charming skittle match " — The 
Sunday school — Out riding — The Queen's activity — Miss 
Stanley's drawings — Royal visitors — On duty — Princess 
Helena's socks — Practising singing — Enter the Grand 
Duchess — A runaway match , . . . , « 12a 

CHAPTER IX 

WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 

Windsor in winter-time — Sleighing — Royal portraits — "What a 
fine gown I " — Reorganising the Royal Household — The 
Lord Steward lays the fire and the Lord Chamberlain lights 
it — Court mourning — Lady Charlemont on making appoint- 
ments — Lord Morpeth arrives in a " 'bus " — A slippery floor 
— Ascot races — The Grand Duke^ Constantine — "A great 
kisser " — The " Flenzy " — Royal Christmas presents — An 
allegorical design — Anti-political atmosphere of a Court — 
The Duke and Duchess of Victory — Playing Patience . • 1 39 

CHAPTER X 

AN EVENTFUL YEAR 

A Latin play — Jane Eyre — Twelfth Night festivities — Revolution 
in France — The Chartists — Osborne — An old courtier — 
Queen's dread of sea passage — " Un succ^s n6gatif " — 
Throwing the cabard — Drives in the Isle of Wight — Caris- 
brooke Castle — Trumping your partner's best spade — Lady 
Wilde's play — The Queen's round table — The Queen has 
chickenpox — Opening of new Coal Exchange by Prince 
Consort with Prince of Wales and Princess Royal — Loyalty 
of an alderman — Vaccination — Was it smallpox ? — Thanks- 
giving service — Planting Deodara pines — Mr. Edmund 
Kean — A small stage , , ,161 

CHAPTER XI 

THE YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 

Engagement of a Maid of Honour — Lady Lyttelton's successor — 
Parting gifts — Macaulay's Essays in private — Radowitz — 
The French princes — Inprovements at Windsor — Treasures 
in the Castle — The General's trouting stream — A jolly 
Household dinner — The Royal children — Shakespeare a 
clever fellow — A striking dress — Osborne — Political com- 
plications — The coup d'etat in Paris — The President's loves 
— Christmas at Windsor — The Seals of Ofiice ■ . ,186 



xii TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

CHAPTER XII 
THE IRON DUKE 



PACK 



Cabinet changes — Spring at Windsor — Arrival at Osborne — 
Royal visitors — Freedom of life at Osborne — " A Duke of 
Wellington itto Arthur's godpapa " — Death of the Duke of 
Wellington — The state funeral — Impressive service — ^The 
Prince affected — Return of the Duke's charger — The floods — 
but not a bath — Banquet in Waterloo Gallery — Back to 
Osborne — ^The missing van — High treason — Dizzy's Budget — 
Napoleon III — La belle Lucie — The Prince of Leiningen — 
An affair of State — A party of eight , . . . > 208 



CHAPTER XIII 

VISIT OF THE KING OF THE BELGIANS 

A Coalition Cabinet — Fire at Windsor — The Queen and Prince — 
A cup of tea — ;^20,ooo of damage — Mr. Wellesley guards the 
chapel — Queen's notice to her servants — The King of the 
Belgians and his family at the Castle — Arrive without 
luggage — ^The Koh-i-noor — Investiture of Knights of the 
Thistle — Dancing with " elderly Thistles " — The Duke of 
Devonshire's gardener — The Walewskis — French fashions — 
Queen visits Sydenham — The Duchess de Brabant on travel- 
ling — Her wish to drive in a cab — Nineteen hours of sea — 
Captain Inglefield's drawings . , . . . . 23 1 



CHAPTER XIV 

WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 

play at Windsor — Heads d V Imperatrice — Toasting-forks at 
Harrow — ^Tableaux vivants performed by the Royal children — 
The beginning of the Crimean War — A children's party — The 
King of Portugal and his brother — The Tempete — A review 
in the quadrangle — Journey to Balmoral — A scanty lunch — 
Holyrood — A walk en famille — Out driving in a sociable 
— Beautiful scenery round Balmoral — The Boulogne visit — 
Deer-stalking — Off to the front — News from the Crimea — 
Life in the Highlands — Sketching — Reported fall of Sebas- 
topol — Not a " precedent " — Shopping at the " Merchant " — 
A servants' ball — Lord Burghersh , » . . .249 



CONTENTS xiii 

CHAPTER XV 
THE CRIMEAN WAR 

PACI 

Model of Sevastopol — The Queen's letter to Miss Hillyard — Lord 
Raglan — " When Sevastopol tumbles down " — The militia 
want to enlist — General Codrington's journal — The hospital — 
and Miss Nightingale — Visit of Lord Cardigan — His account 
of Balaclava — Sufferings of our soldiers — Details of the war — 
Beating up the Peers — The children's play .... 280 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE PEACE 

Palmerston in power again — Inquiry into the war — King Victor 
Emmanuel — Which leg ? — Princess Royal dining late — 
Osborne — A gale at sea — Lady Ely in trouble — ^Warming 
your hut with a live cannon ball — The measles — The King 
of the Belgians leaves — News of peace being signed — Engage- 
ment of Princess Royal given out — Dinner d la Russe — 
Osborne air — The Princesses' chateau — A cruise in the 
Fairy — Visit to the Victory — Visit to Aldershot — The 
Pavilion — Much too comfortable — Letter from the Duchess 
of Wellington — The Princess Royal's courtship — The Prince 
Consort asleep — Death of Prince of Leiningen — The ex-Queen 
of France ■■•..•■■■■ 301 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 

Royal visitors at Windsor — The Prince of Wales — Princess Royal's 
bridesmaids — Visit to Worsley — The picture gallery at Man- 
chester — A pleasant evening — The Queen thinks the horrors 
of Mutiny exaggerated — Anxiety for those before Delhi — 
The Siamese Ambassadors — A letter from the Crown Prince — 
Good news from India — A change of Ministry — The Prince of 
Wales growing up — Osborne again — Prince Consort goes to 
Coburg — An early breakfast — Windsor — Distribution of Royal 
gifts — The fast set — The Kimbolton " petits jeux " — 
Knickerbockers — A Royal salute — An infernal machine . 327 



xiv TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

CHAPTER XVIII 
LAST YEARS OF WAITING 



FAGS 



Retrospect — The Emperor and the Pope — The French for " you 
be hanged " — A hydrangea — Prince Arthur's birthday — 
Aldershot — A dinner party — A capable chef — Another change 
of Ministry — Crown Princess of Prussia — Queen's disUke of 
crossing the sea — Eight-handed duets — Royal journeys — 
The rage for cyphers — The Prince of Wales collects — And gives 
his photograph — Confirmation of Prince Alfred — Princess 
Beatrice recites — Waiting for the young Princes to come 
home — Court mourning — Engagement of Princess Alice . 348 



CHAPTER XIX 
DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 

Illness of the Duchess of Kent — Her death — Prince Leopold goes 
abroad — Prince Arthur plays cricket — Duchess of Kent's 
mausoleum — Death of the Prince Consort — Account of his last 
illness — Agony of the Queen — ^The Prince of Wales and his 
mother — Letter from Miss Skerrett — Letter from the Duchess 
of Wellington — Miss Stanley goes to Osborne to take leave — 
Interview with Princess Alice — with the Queen — Prince 
Consort's dressing-room — Arrival of Crown Princess of 
Prussia — Letter from Lady Churchill — Letter from Lady 
Verulam — Letter from Lady Caroline Barrington — Miss 
Stanley's marriage — Her death 380 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley . . . Frontispiece 

After a miniature by Sir W. Ross 

Eleanor and Augusta Stanley , . To jace p. i6 

From a portrait in the possession of E. A. V. 
Stanley, Esq., of Quanta ck Lodge 

Queen Victoria on Horseback . . „ 34 

After the painting by E. Corbould 

The Queen and Prince Albert at Home „ 48 

Frtm a print in the possession of James St. Leger, 
Esq. 

The Round Tower, Windsor Castle . „ 66 

From a water-colour drawing by the Hon. Eleanor 
Stanley (by kind permission of Mary, Countess of 
Jlchester) 

The Royal Railway Carriage . • „ 104 

From a print in the British Museum 

The Hon. Caroline Dawson (afterwards 

Lady Congleton) .... „ 140 

After an ail painting by Gambardella (by kind per- 
mission of the Hon. Victor Parnell) 

Osborne House „ 164 

From a water-colour drawing by the Hon. Eleanor 
Stanley [by kind permission of Mary, Countess of 
Jlchester) 

The Duchess of Wellington . . . „ 198 

By kind permission of his Grace the Duke of Wellington 

Programme of German Play performed at 

Windsor Castle, January 16, 1852 . „ 204 



xvi TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



Royal Children at Charades (" Die Tafel 

BiRNEN " — Edward VII as Max) . To face -p. 222 

From a drawing by Queen Victoria 

Lieutenant-General THE HoN. Charles 

Grey „ 234 

From a sketch by G. H. Thomas, in the possession 
of the Countess of Antrim 

The Old House at Balmoral . . „ 274 

From a water-colour drawing by the Hon. Eleanor 
Stanley (by kind permission of the Hon. Richard 
Dawson) 

Augusta, Lady Cremorne (afterwards 

Countess of Dartrey) . , . „ 292 

The Marchioness of Ely . , . „ 336 

After the painting by Sir George Hayter 

Buckingham Palace „ 372 

From a water-colour drawing by the Hon. Eleanor 
Stanley (by kind permission of Mary, Countess of 
Ilchester) 



i 



TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



CHAPTER I 

ELEANOR STANLEY 

Eleanor Stanley — Events great and small — Reticence at Court — 
Romance of Queen Victoria's reign Miss Stanley's opinion of her 
own letters. 

Eleanor Stanley, whose letters form the staple 
of this book, was the elder daughter of Edward 
Stanley of Cross Hall and of his wife, Lady Mary 
Maitland, second daughter of James, eighth Earl 
of Lauderdale. Born on August 30, 1821, she was 
not yet twenty-one years old when she entered on 
her duties as Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria 
in February 1 842 ; in 1 862 she sent in her resigna- 
tion, but she returned to Court afterwards as Extra 
Honorary Maid of Honour. In 1866 she married, as 
his fourth wife, Lieut .-Colonel Long, of Bromley Hill, 
Kent. 

Miss Stanley was a highly-gifted woman, whose 
personality rises before us as we read her excellently 
expressed letters. In her youth she must have been 
most attractive-looking, having very fair hair, a beauti- 
ful skin and large grey eyes. She had a considerable 
talent for both music and drawing and was a good 



2 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

linguist, besides being vivacious and amusing in 
conversation. Keen observer as she was, she had 
the gift of describing a scene with a rare economy 
of superfluous wording and with a certain inti- 
mate touch that makes it rise up before our 
eyes, enabling us to obtain many a glimpse into 
a society as far removed from the society of 
to-day as that is to the social world of Good 
Queen Anne. 

The letters are written in a beautifully clear, legible 
hand, and the writer manages to compress a good 
deal of information and no small measure of gossip 
into the modest page and a half of notepaper that 
suffice for most of her communications. She reveals 
herself in these pages as having an intelligent, alert, 
vivacious and rather sarcastic cast of character ; she 
is more apt to look out for the comic than for the 
tragic or sentimental aspect of life. Her affections 
are evidently sincere, but her enthusiasms are few. 
She constantly expresses love and admiration for 
her Royal mistress, " the Sweet Queen," and for 
the Royal children, whom she describes as " sweet," 
" duckish," and even " darling " ; but, as a rule, she 
qualifies praise with her favourite adjective " rather " 
and is, on the whole, quite as much amused by the 
small absurdities of her friends as edified by their 
fine qualities. 

We must not look in the earlier letters for a record 
of the great events that were taking place abroad, or 



ELEANOR STANLEY 3 

for the political and social disturbances that clouded 
the horizon at home. There are, it is true, occa- 
sional allusions to public men and events, but, for the 
most part, these weightier matters are left for the 
newspaper. 

Scraps of political gossip, when a change of Min- 
istry is imminent, may run off the end of her pen at 
times, but she often tells her parents that she is not 
in a position to hear news before others. Ministers 
come and go, but they keep their communications 
for " royal ears " ; once, writing from Osborne, she 
remarks that all news, like the prawns, is imported 
from London. 

As she grows older, a change Is noticeable ; she 
takes more interest in politics and public affairs, 
although that interest is certainly quickened by the 
fact that the individuals who are making history are 
personally known to her. 

There is very little mention of the Indian Mutiny 
in the letters, but those written during the Crimean 
War are full of interest. As a general rule, the record 
is chiefly interesting socially. 

Leaving aside the larger issues of the time, we 
find much to interest us in the simple record of her life, 
as it is related to her parents ; and the value of the 
record is greatly enhanced by the fact that she noted 
down the events of each day on the spot, while the 
impression was still clear and vivid. Owing to her 
simple and direct style, we can, with a little imagina- 



4 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

tion, be present ourselves at the scenes she describes 
so well. With her we can canter up and down the 
grassy glades of Windsor Park and we sit with her at 
the Queen's round table in the evening, enjoying those 
delightfully childish games that were then in favour. 
With her we wander about the grounds at Windsor, 
Osborne and Balmoral, noting the improvements 
made each year ; we visit the newly-acquired camp 
at Aldershot and are present at the first review of 
troops held there. In spite of a certain sameness in 
the narrative, there is a good deal of variety. We may 
at times yawn with the Maid of Honour when she 
speaks of dull Household dinners and of hours spent 
leaning against the wall in the evening before being 
summoned to the Queen's table ; but we must admit 
that there is distinct historic interest in her accounts 
of the visits of the crowned heads to Windsor, of the 
investiture of the Garter, of the visit of the hero of 
the Charge of the Light Brigade to his Sovereign and 
of the passing of the funeral procession of the Iron 
Duke through the streets of London. 

Many other events, great and small, are lightly 
touched on in these pages. Birthdays and christen- 
ings, Christmas festivities and summer rambles, ban- 
quets in the Waterloo Gallery, State " Command " 
performances in the Rubens Room and the little plays 
performed by the Royal children, are each presented 
to us in turn. We see them all with the eyes of Eleanor 
Stanley — ^keen eyes, ready to note the undercurrents 



ELEANOR STANLEY 5 

as well as to retain an image of the passing moment. 
With her eyes also, dim with tears now, we read those 
letters, hitherto unpublished, relating the death of 
the Prince Consort in 1862 ; the notes that she com- 
piled herself from information received from eye- 
witnesses, add a fresh page to the history of that 
grievous time. 

No one can read these letters without experiencing 
an increased admiration for the personality of Queen 
Victoria. We see her in the early days of her happy 
married life, as the proud mother of a flock of little 
children, as a woman in the maturity of her powers, 
and as a heart-broken widow, whose life has been sud- 
denly undermined by a great and unexpected calamity ; 
and in each phase we find evidences of her high purpose 
in life and of her warm affection for those who 
served her. 

The question as to the advisability of publishing 
private letters is one that has often been mooted ; in 
the present instance there is little room for doubt. 
The correspondence of Eleanor Stanley is too lengthy 
to admit of its being published in full, and much of 
it relates to personal matters that are not of public 
interest. The extracts given throw fresh light on 
the daily life of the Queen and her Court and cannot 
fail to be of interest. As this Court is said to have 
been one of the purest known to history, it may lack 
the sensational colouring of those of earlier days; 
but its record is surely as much an asset of the Nation 



6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

as is that of the squabbles of the mistresses of kings 
or the account of political intrigue in past ages. 

" Who would indeed read history,but for the crimes 
of Cabinets ?" asks Lady Charlotte Bury in her Diary 
of a Lady in Waitings and perhaps the same may be 
said of Courts. To speak of Court history is almost 
tantamount to speaking of intrigue, so great is the 
number of books that have been compiled by those in 
search of dramatic incident. Those, however, who 
seek interest in less highly-coloured narrative will 
find a quiet charm about the atmosphere of this Early 
Victorian existence, a subtle aroma as of the faint 
perfume from a jar of ■pot-fourri. 

It is well known that each Maid of Honour makes 
a promise not to keep a diary during her waitings, 
and one of the salient characteristics of those who have 
been included in the Royal Household is their desire 
to respect the wishes of their Sovereign and not to 
give to the world their individual impressions. That 
this should be the case, shows that loyalty and reticence 
formed, as it were, a sort of barrier between the Queen 
and her subjects ; admirable as this reserve was, it 
left the road clear for those who wrote without 
first-hand knowledge, whose books, often hastily put 
together with paste and scissors, were sometimes 
misleading. There was nothing to be afraid of and 
it would possibly have been better to have let in more 
light. The doors and windows of the Queen's palaces 
were open to the sun and the wind and there was 



ELEANOR STANLEY 7 

nothing in her daily life that could not bear the light 
of day. When she herself published her Diary in the 
Highlands, she made herself known to a large number 
of her subjects who would never have got into such 
personal touch with her in any other way. The life 
of Queen Victoria will always excite a certain romantic 
interest. We cannot forget that she came to the throne 
as a young girl at a periodof unrest at home and abroad; 
that under her rule the possessions of Great Britain 
were increased to such an extent that, " when she 
died, one square mile in four of the land of the world 
was under the British flag, and at least one person out 
of every five persons was a subject of the Queen." * 

Side by side with this great achievement, we place 
the picture of her domestic life as we know it from her 
Gvm writings and from a few books written by those 
who knew her personally. Among these latter, the 
letters of Eleanor Stanley, which throw many a side- 
light on the home of the Queen during the twenty 
years of her married life, will surely find a niche. 

With regard to the wishes of the writer herself, we 
are fortunately in no doubt. In 1859, ^^ v^i'ote : " I 
have been arranging all my old letters written to Papa 
and Mama when I have, at different times, been in 
waiting ; and I find among them so much that has 
amused and interested me, that I have resolved to put 
down on paper, from time to time, any interesting 
details or amusing stories I may hear, with the dates." 

* Encyclopedia Britannica. 



8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

At this same period she added dates to many of her 
former letters, and in some instances wrote notes 
to explain allusions or complete a story. The letters, 
then, were by no means written with a view to publi- 
cation, but they were evidently thought suitable for 
publication by the writer when she re-read them after 
an interval of time had elapsed. There is little doubt 
that her decision will be endorsed by future readers. 



CHAPTER II 

THE YOUNG QUEEN's COLTIT 

Forming the new Court — Jealousy of the Whigs — " I have no small 
talk, and Peel has no manners " — Lady Louisa Stuart — Lord 
Melbourne — Court ceremony — The Norman Courts — The Hano- 
verian kings — A new era — The bedchamber question — Tories in 
ofiSce — The Royal Household — First letter written in waiting — The 
Pavilion at Brighton — The Queen and the Duchess of Kent — A 
carpet dance — Escorting the Duchess of Kent to her sedan chair — 
The Queen and Prince out driving — A profound secret. 

It is well known that when the young Queen of 
eighteen years old ascended the throne of England, 
she surprised all those with whom she came in contact 
by the calm assurance with which she performed her 
duties. One of her first cares was the formation of 
her household, and in this task she was of course guided 
by the counsels of her Prime Minister,^ although it is 
evident that she held quite decided views of her own 
on the subject. " In all trifling matters connected 
with her Court and palace," wrote Greville in July 
1837, "she already enacts the part of Queen and 
Mistress as if it had been long familiar to her." ^ 

The Whig party had been in office two years at 
the accession of Queen Victoria, and the favour shown 
by the Queen to Lord Melbourne kept them there for 

^ WilUam Lamb, Viscount Melbourne, 1779-1848, 
« The Grtville Memoirs (Part II). 
9 



10 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

another two years, in spite of a minority in the Com- 
mons and a hostile majority in the Lords. The 
Household of the Queen was chosen entirely, or almost 
entirely, from the ranks of the Whigs, and this cir- 
cumstance, joined to the daily visits of Melbourne and 
to the prominent position he occupied at the royal 
dinner table and in the drawing-room afterwards, 
made the Tories extremely jealous. The Duke of 
Wellington was in despair. " I have no small talk, 
and Peel has no manners," he remarked when the 
question of a change of Ministry was brought forward. 
Lady Louisa Stuart,^ writing to her niece. Lady Anna 
Maria Dawson,^ after remarking caustically that the 
Queen " conversed " with no one but her Minister, 
observed : " Even Lady Charlotte Lindsay,^ Whig 
as she is, thinks this a very odd proceeding. What 
an uproar would have been made if her father or mine 
had never let the King stir without them ! And, as she 
observes, they never called themselves First Minister, 
for there is no such title or rank in this country. 
Lord Melbourne is merely Viscount Melbourne, of 
whom many of the company the Queen invites take 
place, there and everywhere else. He is in no way 
intitled always to sit near her. I daresay Mr. Pitt 



* Lady Louisa Stuart, sixth daughter of John, third Earl of Bute, 
1757-1851. 

* Lady Anna Maria Dawson, fourth daughter of the first Earl of 
PortarUngton. 

' I^dy Charlotte North, third daughter of Frederick, second Earl 
of Guilford and eighth Lord North, w, Lt.-Col. the Hon. John 
Lindsay. 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT ii 

never sat near Queen Charlotte or handed her about 
in his life." ^ 

Undeterred by criticism, Lord Melbourne con- 
tinued to sit at the Queen's round table evening after 
evening, amusing his Royal Mistress by the versatility 
of a mind that could touch on any subject, grave or 
gay, illuminating most topics with the summer light- 
ning of his wit. They agreed, on one occasion, that 
Court functions at St. James's had been very dull, 
and the Queen added that those at Brussels were just 
as bad, so the Queen of the Belgians had told her. 
But it does not appear that she attempted much 
reform in this direction. 

Before taking the Household of Queen Anne, the 
last Queen-Regnant of England, as a model for the 
new Court, the Queen's advisers must have cast a 
glance backward at the history of Court ceremonies 
in this country. It is too large a subject to dismiss 
in a paragraph, but it may be interesting to refresh 
the memory with some of the main facts. 

Court ceremony came originally from the East, 
where royalty and divinity were merged ; it was 
carried to a great height in the Byzantine Courts of 
Constantine ; from thence the German Empire took 
it, and passed it on into Europe generally. In Spain 
and France the ceremonies of the Court grew with 
the doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty ; Charles V 
made it a fetish and Louis XIV the pivot of his whole 

* Unpublished letter in the possession of Mrs. Godfrey Clark. 



12 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

system of ruling by centralisation. To escape from 
the petty tyranny of Court rules and regulations, 
Louis XV supped with his mistresses, and Louis XVI 
turned locksmith, while Marie Antoinette milked 
cows in the grounds of the Petit Trianon. Swept 
away by the Revolution, etiquette returned with 
renewed force in the First and Second Empire, 
Napoleon III being specially punctilious in this regard. 
In England there was practically no Court before 
the Conquest and a law enacted in Wales in pre- 
Norman days does not suggest a very high level of 
courtly behaviour, for it sets forth that " anyone 
who strikes the Queen, or snatches anything from her 
violently, will incur her ' displeasure.' " Edward the 
Confessor lived with great simplicity, but at least 
one great office, that of Chamberlain, has come down 
from his times. The Norman kings, who had a talent 
for organisation and a love of splendour — they were 
" pompous " in Court and Camp, we learn — were the 
real founders of the Royal Household, and to their 
Court flocked all the principal people in the kingdom. 
From that time onward the Court increased in im- 
portance and magnificence, going through various 
phases as the dynasty changed or the fashion of the 
day dictated. At first it was attended by all those 
who had a right to go, and who came without summons, 
but the Hanoverian Kings, who brought their own 
system of etiquette, separated Court life from national 
life more completely than had been the custom. The 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 13 

jousts and pageants and progresses of old times were 
no more a link binding all classes together, for another 
day had dawned since Elizabeth and her ambulant 
Court delighted the eyes of the rustics in all parts 
of the country, or since the Stuart kings kept open 
house at Whitehall. The change began with William 
and Mary, when little was done to make the Court 
attractive ; during the reign of Anne very few at- 
tended her functions and the Queen herself was often 
absent, leaving her Ministers to receive the guests. 
George I, speaking no English and surrounded by 
his German favourites, had little chance of making 
his Court popular ; it had also the disadvantage of 
being without a Queen. Little by little, however, 
in spite of dissensions between father and son in the 
reigning house — dissensions which seemed hereditary 
— the gay, pleasure-loving English of the day brought 
their wit and their fine clothes to the King's Palace 
and made merry and gambled and talked scandal with 
something of the spirit of former times. 

In the reign of George III, a king who loved domes- 
ticity and a retired life, a Bill was passed for the 
retrenchment of the Royal Household, much to the 
annoyance of those who held the offices that were 
abolished. The unfortunate estrangement of George 
IV and his Queen and the bad character of those who 
surrounded him, kept many away during his reign, in 
spite of the state that he kept ; and many approved 
the action of the Duchess of Kent in keeping her 



14 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

young daughter away from that of his successor, 

William IV. 

So there was, as it were, a new era in Court life 
and many eyes were turned towards the rising sun. 

But there was little enough to attract the tongue 
of gossip. Working all the morning at affairs of State, 
driving in the afternoon, or riding about the villages 
near London, dining with a certain amount of cere- 
mony, the Queen was content to sit at a round table 
all the evening, talking or playing games, while the 
Duchess of Kent sat at her whist table and tried to 
keep awake, sometimes without success. The society 
is always the same. Lady Louisa Stuart remarks 
about this time ; " Minister, Minister ; Cavendish, 
Cavendish ; Paget, Paget." The Tories were cer- 
tainly left in the shade, as they were not even invited 
to the Queen's parties when it could be avoided. In 
1839 Melbourne's Ministry was forced to resign and 
Sir Robert Peel arrived to interview his Sovereign 
and to talk over Household changes. As all the world 
knows, the Queen raised no objection to the gentle- 
men of her Household changing with the Govern- 
ment, but she declined to part with any of her ladies. 
Sir Robert, who knew that the chief difficulty he 
had to experience would be in Ireland, was especially 
desirous to replace the Mistress of the Robes and two 
of the Ladies of the Bedchamber, who were nearly 
related to Ministers in office in Ireland in the outgoing 
Government ; he stuck to his point, and, when the 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 15 

Queen declined to be moved, he said that he was 
unable to form a Cabinet and the Whigs returned 
to office. This was the " Bedchamber " question, 
which amused people both in and out of politics. 
Most people, including O'Connell,^ applauded the 
Queen's firmness, and the comic papers announced 
that she would not let " her belles be peeled.''^ 

It is evident that Melbourne had foreseen this 
crisis, as he had written to her : " Your Majesty had 
better express your hope that none of Your Majesty's 
Household, except those who are engaged in politics, 
may be removed." After the interview she wrote to 
him that she had been very firm, " calm but decided," 
and that she had carried the day. 

In February 1842, when the series of letters begin, 
the Tories had come into office once more, and the 
delicate question of a change among the Queen's ladies 
had been skilfully negotiated by the Prince Consort, 
who arranged with Sir Robert Peel that the Duchess 
of Sutherland, the Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess 
of Bedford and Lady Normanby, two of the Ladies 
of the Bedchamber, should resign. The ladies of the 
actual Household included the Duchess of Buccleuch 
as Mistress of the Robes, the Countess of Mount- 
Edgcumbe, the Countess of Dunmore, the Countess of 
Charlemont, Viscountess Jocelyn, Lady Portman, the 
Countess of Dalhousie, Viscountess Canning, the 
Duchess of Norfolk, and Lady Barham, afterwards 

1 Daniel O'Connell, "The Liberator," 1775-1847. 



i6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Countess of Gainsborough, as Ladies of the Bed- 
chamber, or Ladies in Waiting, as they were usually 
called ; Lady Dacre, Lady Caroline Barrington, the 
Hon. Mrs. Campbell, the Hon. Mrs. Anson, Vis- 
countess Forbes, Lady Gardiner, and Lady Theresa 
Digby were the Women of the Bedchamber. The 
Maids of Honour were the Hon. Matilda Paget, the 
Hon. Amelia Murray, the Hon. Caroline Somers 
Cocks, the Hon. Harriet Lister, the Hon. Frances 
Devereux, the Hon. Georgina Liddell, and the Hon. 
Clementina Baillie Hamilton. 

When Eleanor Stanley made her first appearance 
as Maid of Honour, her younger sister Augusta, called 
" Oisy," the short for her pet name " Oiseau," had 
been married in the preceding August to Richard, 
third Baron Cremorne, of Dartrey, Co. Monaghan, 
Ireland ; ^ her only brother Edward, who was only 
fifteen years old, was still at Eton. To her father 
and mother, now left alone, she wrote every day to 
record her experiences. Here is her first letter 
written in waiting : 



The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Pavilion, Brighton, 

Friday Morning, iSth February 1842, 

Dearest Mama, — I enjoyed my first evening very 
much, tho' I was very glad when it was over. Papa 

^ Created Earl of Dartrey in 1866. 




ELEANOR AND AUGUSTA STANLEY 
From a portrait in the possession of E. A. V. Stanley, Esq., of Quantock Lodge 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 17 

will tell how we met the Queen and Prince Albert 
and the Saxe-Coburg Princes * on driving into the 
gardens and nearly ran over them. When we arrived 
Miss Devereux ^ and I were shown up to our rooms, 
and in about ten minutes Lady Portman' came up 
and introduced herself to me most kindly. She 
'seems a charming person, very handsome, too, I think. 
Her manner is a little restrained and cold at first, but 
she was so kind all the evening, telling me any little 
thing I did not know ; and she came up when we were 
dressed to take us down to dinner. The Baroness * 
came two or three times in the course of the afternoon 
for divers messages ; first of all she came to know 
where Papa was staying, as the Queen wished to ask 
him to dinner ; and then she brought me my badge, 
that is, not my own, but Miss Paget's,^ which I am 
to wear till mine is finished, as Rundell and Bridge 
disappointed her about it. The Maids of Honour 
keep them for ever. I wore my Elise muslin as we 
agreed, and it fitted beautifully ; my new blue flower 
in my hair, which looked very pretty ; and I assure 
[you] except Her Majesty there was nobody so well 
dressed in the room. My cold is much better, indeed 
nearly gone. When we went down, the first thing 
we had to do was to go to the door and receive the 
Duchess of Kent, who does not live in the Pavilion, 
but in a separate house and comes in a sedan chair. 
That being accomplished, a little while afterwards 

* Princes Leopold and Augustus of Coburg. 

* Hon. Frances Devereux, only daughter of Viscount Hereford, P. C, 
Maid of Honour. 

» Emma, third daughter of Henry, second Earl of Harewood, 
tn. Edward Berkeley, first Viscount Portman, 1827. 

* Baroness Lehzen, formerly governess of Queen Victoria. 

» Hon. Matilda Paget, daughter of Hon. Berkeley Paget, Maid of 
Honour. 

B 



1 8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

one of the pages brought Miss D. the bouquet, and 
about ten minutes after that, the Queen came down, 
dressed in a black lace gown, with a very deep lace 
flounce, over pink silk, and a " pink dangle " in her 
hair ! ! !, and no blue ribbon or garter. She ad- 
vanced most graciously and gave me her hand to kiss 
as she passed, and asked me if I was quite well now. 
We then followed her into the drawing-room, where 
we found Papa and the other strangers, and the Saxe- 
Coburgs. Prince Albert came in at another door as 
we came in with the Queen. We then proceeded to 
dinner, and Miss Devereux presented the bouquet 
with a low curtsey. I sat between Captain Meynell ^ 
and a German, who is with the Saxe-Coburgs, and 
talked German. At dessert. Lord Liverpool^ pro- 
posed first the Queen's health, upon which a band, 
concealed in a gallery above, struck up " God save 
the Queen," and after that Prince Albert's, which 
elicited another martial air from the hidden musicians. 
The ladies sat a very short time, and we then went 
into the drawing-room, where the Queen talked for 
a long while to Lady Rivers ' about her children, 
who are coming to see Her Majesty this morning. 
She said the Princess Royal was grown very thin, 
whereas she used to be immensely fat, and had got 
eleven teeth. The Queen called the Duchess of 
Kent Mama, and I think the Duchess said " My dear " 
or "My love," but I am not sure. She came and 
spoke to me, and asked me about my accident, where 
and how I did it, and whether it had not left a dread- 
ful scar. She also asked if you were in London . . . 

* Captain H. Meynell, R.N., groom in waiting. 

• Charles Jenkinson, third Earl of Liverpool, 1784-1851. 

' Lady Susan Leveson-Gower, eldest daughter of the first Earl 
Granville, m. George, fourth Baron Rivers, 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 19 

and she looked so sweet and such a pretty smile that 
I quite lost my heart. The gentlemen were by this 
time come, and she spoke to several, especially Pap, 
with whom she had a long conversation, as had also 
Prince Albert soon after. He is certainly very good- 
looking and very nice. We very soon went into 
another room when dancing began. The first thing 
was a quadrille ; the Queen and Prince Augustus, 
Prince Albert and Lady Fanny Howard^ vis-d-vis^ 
Miss D. and Lord Rivers,^ and Prince Leopold and 
me. The carpet was down, which was tiresome for 
dancing. It seems Mrs. Anson ^ and Lady F. Howard 
have been holding me up as talking German, for 
Prince L. talked nothing but German to me in con- 
sequence. The next thing was a galop ; the Queen 
and Prince Leopold, Prince Albert and Mrs. Anson, 
and my German neighbour at dinner and me. After 
that there was a waltz ; the Queen and Prince Albert, 
Prince Augustus and me, and Miss D. and the German, 
whose name I must find out to-day. We then de- 
parted, the Queen and Prince together, after shaking 
hands with the Saxe-Coburgs and bowing gracefully 
to all the world. Miss D. and I then had to escort 
the Duchess of Kent to her sedan chair, after which 
I came back and introduced Papa to Baroness Lehzen, 
as she desired me, and then we went to bed. It was 
not quite eleven. . . . This morning the Baroness 
is to come and fetch us for breakfast at ten, as we 
should hardly know our way about the house without 
her ; she seems very kind and nice. . . . There is 

^ Lady Fanny Cavendish, sister of the seventh Duke of Devonshire, 
m. Frederick Howard, grandson of the fifth Earl of Carlisle. 

' George, fourth Baron Rivers, 1810-1866. 

■ The Hon. Georgiana Harbord, eldest daughter of third Baron 
Suffield, m. George Anson, C.B., Keeper of the Privy Purse. 



20 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

a piano in my room, a tolerable cottage one, which 
is a great comfort. I must now finish and bid you 
good-bye, dearest dear, being, as it is, near breakfast 
time. My best love to Ois and Cremorne and the 
Balfours, and believe me, dearest Mammy, your most 
affectionate child, Eleanor Stanley. 



Pavilion, 

Friday Evening, Feb. iSth, 1842, 

Dearest Mama, — We are just come in from our 
drive, which was very pleasant, and I was exceedingly 
amused at seeing the crowds of people on foot, on 
horseback, and in carriages, who all stopped and drew 
up to let us pass. We were desired soon after lunch, 
which is private for the ladies only, the same as the 
breakfast, to get ready to go out with the Queen. At a 
quarter-past three we went down, and on our way 
nearly knocked down Her Majesty, who was coming 
out of the Baroness' room, which is next door to Miss 
Devereux's along the same passage. She laughed 
good-humouredly, and went to dress, and soon came 
down with Prince Albert to the gallery where we were 
waiting. She had on a blue silk bonnet, and a long 
warm black satin cloak, rather old and shabby. Prince 
Albert was to drive her, so he jumped in first, and she 
followed, assisted by Col. Grey^ and Col. Wylde,^ 
who attended on horseback. She drove a pair of little 
grey ponies, in a little light phaeton, with two out- 
riders, and we followed in the next carriage. Lady 
Portman, Miss D. and me, drawn by four greys and 

* Colonel, afterwards Lt.-General, the Hon. Charles Grey, equerry 
and Private Secretary to Queen Victoria, second son of Charles, second 
Earl Grey, 1 804-1 870. 

2 Lt.-Colonel Wylde, CM.G. 



THE YOUNG QUEEN'S COURT 21 

two outriders. We ought to have gone in the third 
carriage, but the Saxe-Coburgs were not ready in 
time, so we could not wait, as the Queen was gone. 
They soon followed in a carriage with four pies, very 
pretty. We drove first up towards Kemp Town, 
and made the tour of the square up there, and then 
we drove down again, to the very end of Brunswick 
Terrace, and back again to the Pavilion. We then 
went home, but I think that she and the Princess 
took a little turn in the gardens. The day was most 
lovely, the sky cloudless, and the sea clear and calm 
and blue like in summer, though the air was sharp and 
fresh. I wore my green poplin, and to go out I put 
on my satin cloak, my scabieuse bonnet, and my new 
green front, which looked lovely on, and very becom- 
ing. This evening I wear my blue silk, with car- 
nations in my hair. 

Lady Portman is quite charming. After lunch she 
told me I had not yet seen her rooms, and that I must 
come and see her, so I went and staid there a little 
while, till I went to dress for the drive. ... I like 
my waiting. I think it very formal and rather dull, 
but this is a profound secret. Now adieu, dearest 
Mammy, believe me ever your most affectionate 
child, Eleanor Julian Stanley. 



CHAPTER III 

A MAID OF HONOUR 

Duties of a Maid of Honour — Letter of advice from Lady Louisa 
Stuart — A Christian duty — The awkwardest man — Period of 
transition — Political anxieties of the Queen — Domestic happiness — 
The Prince Consort — Cards at the Castle — Lady Charlemont — 
The swing — " Blue, very blue " — Princess Royal dressed up — The 
Prince Consort wins six shillings — Lady Charlemont again. 

The duties of a Maid of Honour at the Court of Queen 
Victoria were not onerous, although in the fulfilment 
of them a good deal of time was spent, sometimes 
quite uselessly, owing to sudden change of plans. 
They were required to ride, drive, and walk with the 
Queen when desired, to make themselves pleasant to 
all guests, especially foreigners; occasionally to copy 
out or write descriptions of ceremonies for the Queen's 
journal. They used also to accompany the Princesses, 
when their own ladies were not in waiting, but that 
was, of course, in later years. They received ;^300 
a year allowance, and were given a dowry of ;^iooo 
on marriage. 

Each Maid of Honour had a bedroom with a sitting- 
room adjoining, in what was called the Devil's Tower 
at Windsor Castle ; at Buckingham Palace, Osborne, 
and Balmoral they had a bedroom only. A sitting- 
room was provided for all the ladies at Osborne and 
Buckingham Palace, but at Balmoral the entire House- 



A MAID OF HONOUR 23 

hold used the Billiard-room. Most of the ladies 
brought their own china ornaments and flower glasses 
and odds and ends to decorate their sitting-rooms, 
and they used also to buy flowers, as none were pro- 
vided for them. 

Eleanor Stanley, no doubt, accustomed herself very 
soon to this new life, and conducted herself admirably, 
in spite of a sense of humour that was one of her chief 
attractions. It may not be out of place here to insert 
a letter of advice written by Lady Louisa Stuart to her 
niece when about to be appointed Lady in Waiting 
to the Duchess of Kent. 



Lady Louisa Stuart to Lady Anna 
Maria Dawson 

Ramsgate, Sept. 25th, 1839. 

If it is to be, you must positively resolve never 
to let your maid, whether English or foreign, say a 
single word to you about any thing or passage or 
person or character within the palace walls. You 
must resolve never to ask her a single question, and 
make her understand that she is to tell you nothing 
that passes, not even if the house should be on fire. 
If you can also seal up her lips to all others, it will be 
best ; recommend it towards her fellows, but peremp- 
torily insist upon it towards yourself. Never ask who 
is coming or going except from your equals. You have 
no notion what a safeguard you will find this; a 
preservative against getting into any tracasserie or 
scrape ; for at a Court mischief of every sort very 
often has no higher origin. ... At a Court, amongst 



24 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

other necessary cautions, people should be on their 
guard never to say a careless word that can injure 
another, or throw ridicule of any sort on their neigh- 
bours. It is really a Christian duty ; because if once 
a prejudice gets into a Royal head it can never be got 
out again to the end of time. Princes form a class 
apart ; they do not, like us, mingle with the world 
and hear different opinions, nor does anybody venture 
to contradict theirs; so impressions upon them, 
once made, are indelible. I have heard, and I do be- 
lieve, that at this present hour the personal dislike to 
one Sir Robert P} comes in great measure from the 
ladies on the other side having laughed at him, and 
pointed out little awkwardnesses in his manner ; 
mighty important objections to a Statesman ! If it 
be so, it shows what serious consequences the most 
contemptible trifles may produce ! Mr. Pitt ^ was 
the awkwardest man I ever saw in my life, and not 
particularly well-bred.^ 

But a change had come over the scene since this 
letter was written. The Queen was quite reconciled 
to the new Ministry and had no longer need of the 
support of Lord Melbourne since she had the Prince 
Consort by her side. 

It is difficult to realise that the beginning of the 
Victorian era was in reality a period of transition. 
Taking a bird's-eye view of the Queen's reign, one is 
apt to consider that it sprang into being as she stepped 
on to the throne ; it is almost disconcerting to find 

1 Sir Robert Peel, 

2 Rt. Hon. William Pitt, 1759-1806. 

* Unpublished letter in the possession of Mrs, Godfrey Clark. 



A MAID OF HONOUR 25 

how slow was the change from the old order to the 
new, how unwillingly many of the great inventions 
were received that were to revolutionise commerce as 
well as the conditions of private life. Men grumbled 
at the " nonsensical " penny postage scheme, mis- 
trusted steamships that ventured across the Atlantic 
or faced the monsoon in the Red Sea, and many refused 
to leave their travelling carriages for the trains that 
achieved the terrifying pace of thirty- seven miles an 
hour. The Melbourne Ministry had left behind it 
a legacy of war in China and Afghanistan and bad 
feeling in the United States and France ; the internal 
condition of the kingdom was full of unrest. The 
new machinery had thrown many out of work ; the 
wave of prosperity, that was to flood the country after 
it had become the mart of the world, was not yet. 
The prospect abroad and at home was uncertain and 
Ireland was seething with discontent and menaced 
with famine. 

If the Queen had political anxieties, she was blessed 
in her private life, having made an ideally happy 
marriage. It is true that the Prince Consort was 
not yet popular and that, from time to time, he was 
most unjustly attacked in the Press; but his own 
good sense and good humour dispelled any unpleasant- 
ness, and his influence was beginning to make itself 
felt. Those who knew him well appreciated his fine 
qualities, although there were many who resented 
the fact that, with so many obvious virtues, he had 



26 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

apparently not one redeeming vice. Highly gifted 
himself, the recreations he delighted in were music 
and art and intellectual conversation ; his desire was 
to make the Court the resort of distinguished men of 
letters and artists, as it had been in times gone by. 
This idea received no encouragement from the Queen, 
who did not think herself fitted to take part in a sym- 
posium ; so the Prince resigned himself to playing 
chess and billiards in the evening, varied by a hand 
at whist or a round game. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Feb. ^rd, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — We had a delightful evening 
yesterday, being summoned to the royal table, and 
playing at Commerce. It was not quite as it is usually 
played ; there was no pool, and nobody died, but 
the lowest hand of each deal put in a shilling, and the 
highest got rewarded with a penny from everybody. 
The shillings were divided among everybody at the 
end of the night, but the fun was to see Lady Charle- 
mont ^ playing, as she could not at all understand the 
game, and she was always coming to the end with two 
sixes and a four because she said " she could not get 
what she wanted, and so it did not signify what her hand 
was," or with sequences in different suits, though she 
repeatedly found out to her cost, besides having it 
dinned into her ears by the Queen and Prince that 
this did not count ; she said, " Why should three 

* Anne, daughter and co-heir of William Bermingham of Ross 
Hill, »n, Francis, second Earl of Charlemont, 1802, 



A MAID OF HONOUR 27 

knaves of different suits count and not Knave, Queen, 
King of different suits ? " and nothing would con- 
vince her there could not be three Knaves of the same 
suit. On the whole the royal table was very amusing, 
as she kept us in subdued fits the whole time, and 
nobody dared advise her, as the Prince said any person 
guilty of such an offence should pay sixpence. 

The Queen called me, before the gentlemen came 
in, to the fireplace, where she generally stands, away 
from the others, for the purpose of inquiring after 
Ois, whom she thought looked dreadfully delicate, and 
much more so even than when she saw her in De- 
cember, and both she and the Duchess reiterated 
their excellent advice. ... I suppose her Majesty 
speaks from the experience she has had with her own 
children. She was very sweet and kind, and I thought 
really lovely when she spoke. . . . 



Windsor Castle, Saturday, Feb. 4/A, 1843. 

Dearest Mammy, — I had ordered the carriage to 
come over and see you, but this fall of snow looks so 
hopeless that I cannot in conscience take the horses 
and servants out, so I have sent to counter-order the 
carriage, and all my violets must be content to fade 
on my table instead of yours. We had another 
delightful game at commerce last night. I won 4/. jd., 
the odd one being a beautiful little silver penny from 
the Prince. The way I won so much was by having 
aces once, for which I got sixpence all round. I had 
managed it very quietly, so when I put down my 
hand and said I had aces, the Prince would not be- 
lieve it and said, " Three of them ! but you must 
have dealt them, for I did never see you take them 



28 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

up." I told him I had taken up two, and got my 
sixpences all round. Lady Charlemont was more 
absurd than ever, and Lord Hardwicke ^ laughs at her 
openly. . . . This morning she walked into the 
breakfast-room saying, " The air is searching, but I 
do not think the snow will stand." " No," says Lord 
Hardwicke, " that it won't ; but it'll lay, though." 
I had a great mind to say it must fall before it lay, 
for there was none visible, either standing or laying, 
but I was afraid she would find out we were laughing 
at her. Lord Hardwicke is very provoking, too, he 
lays down the law so. Lady Charlemont talks a 
great deal, too, of Col. Arbuthnot's ^ taste for natural 
history, and of the wonderful skeleton of a bird 
fourteen feet high that he told her has just been dis- 
covered. This morning as I ran after her up the 
Gallery she turned round and with a tender kiss told 
me I was like this great bird, I divided the air so swiftly 
in gliding through it, I appeared to have wings ! Do 
you like this as a compliment ? It was meant as one 
certainly, but I think it rather doubtful. The Queen 
and Lady Haddo,^ of course, got on the subject of 
babies at once, and they both reiterated messages 
to Ois. She was very sweet and kind, and staid 
talking to us till the gentlemen came. I told her I 
got Lady Charlemont into the swing in the morning, 
which amused H.M. excessively. Give my best love 
to Pap and all the party, and believe me, dearest 
Mammy, your most affectionate child, 

Eleanor Julian Stanley. 

^ Charles, fourth Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Privy Seal, 1799- 1873. 

* Colonel C. G. T. Arbuthnot, equerry in ordinary to Queen 
Victoria. 

^ Maiy, second daughter of George Baillie, Esq., m, George, Lord 
Haddo, afterwards fifth Earl of Aberdeen. 



A MAID OF HONOUR 29 

I open my letter again to tell you I have been 
playing at commerce iete-a-tete with Lady Charle- 
mont for an hour. She got a pack in Windsor by her 
servant ; but I am afraid she was just as puzzled at 
last as at first. 

The Lady Charlemont, whose eccentricities amused 
and sometimes exasperated the Household, was a lady 
with a reputation for learning. Her arrival at Court 
is amusingly told in the Creevy papers, where she is 
represented as being " blue, very blue." She asked 
Lady Tavistock,^ we are told, if she might take some 
books from the library, to which request Lady 
Tavistock, " not knowing what reading means," said 
she might take as many as she chose. So Lady 
Charlemont swept up a whole row of books, and going 
down the passage met the Queen herself, whom she 
had not yet seen, having been only half an hour in 
the Castle. To curtsey with the books was the only 
course open to her, and the Queen treated the incident 
with her usual good humour. 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Feb. $th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen as usual 
talked of nothing but children with Lady Haddo, 
and said the royal babes were very bad sleepers ; 
they only sleep from half-past eleven till half-past one 
every day ; this did not seem to me so very little 
considering their age. The Prince of Wales has 

* Anna Maria, daughter of Charles, third Earl of Harrington, 
m. Francis, Marquis of Tavistock, afterwards seventh Duke of Bedford. 



30 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

given up sleeping in the afternoon for a fortnight, so 
they do not mean to try to put him to sleep any more 
till his regular bedtime. 

We did not join the royal table as there were the 
Haddos and Lord Liverpool ; they played at Specu- 
lation and seemed to be much amused ; at least they 
were in fits all the time about something or other. 

We are going to prayers, but I do not believe there 
will be any clergyman ; they wrote to London for 
one, but they have got no answer yet. I shall finish 
this afterwards and tell you the result. 

The prayers are over and the clergyman was there, 
and the only remarkable thing that happened was 
his leaving out the Collect after the Ten Command- 
ments, the one for the Queen, and going straight 
from the Commandments to the Collect of the day, 
which, considering the Queen was present, I thought 
rather personal. Believe me, ever your most devoted 
chick, Eleanor Julian Stanley. 



Windsor Castle, Saturday, nth Feb. 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — On my return from home yester- 
day I was very sorry to hear I had missed seeing the 
Princess Royal dressed up in honour of the Queen's 
wedding-day in the dress of Queen Charlotte's time ; a 
full crinoline being substituted for a hoop, and the little 
Princess wearing her hair powdered, with a bouquet 
at the side, and one in front of her gown, a body and 
train of pink and silver brocade, with a white under- 
petticoat, and white gloves, and a fan which she 
flourished about with great dignity. I was very 
sorry not to see her, and if I had been ten minutes 
sooner I should have been just in time, as it was past 



A MAID OF HONOUR 31 

three when they left the gallery, and the Queen sent 
up to my room the last thing, in case I should have 
come in. 

We had a large party ; the Emlyns, Harcourts, 
Ansons, Wemysses, Miss Gurney, Lord Paget, Lady 
Lyttelton,^ Lord Liverpool, and the Duchess to dinner, 
and the Miss Lytteltons and Miss Poole Carey ^ in the 
evening. We had music, consisting of the private 
band and the choristers from St. George's Chapel. 
... I enclose the programme for Oisy's benefit; 
the second page is truly affecting about " Fair Britain's 
royal choice." 

Feb. lith. 

Dearest Mammy, — What a lovely day ! Lady 
Charlemont is gone to St. Anne's Hill to enjoy it and 
see the place ; Mi'js Hamilton ^ is going at one to see 
the Stables with Sir George Hamilton, who is staying 
at Ditton, so I am left to take care of my royal mistress, 
whose royal consort is gone with Col. Wylde to ex- 
amine some new shooting-ground they have got in 
the direction of Bagshot ! They drive to Swinley, 
where they are to find horses ready and to ride on to 
see the ground and afterwards drive home again. 
Lord Hardwicke is gone out hunting, so nobody is 
left but one " gentle " equerry, Col. Arbuthnot, 
who is to escort the Hamilton party over the Stables, 
and Mr. Murray,* who is to perform the same kind 
ofhce by the Wemyss'. 

* Lady Sairah Spencer, elder daughter of second Earl Spencer, 
m. William Lyttelton, afterwards third Baron Lyttelton, 1813. 

* Miss Pole Carew, daughter of Rt. Hon. Reginald Pole Carew and 
the Hon. Caroline Lyttelton. 

» The Hon. Clementina Baillie Hamilton, daughter of the Arch- 
deacon of Cleveland, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 

* The Hon. Charles Murray, son of fifth Earl of Dunmore, groom 
in waiting to Quetn Vi(toria. 



32 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

We walked for half an hour with the Queen and 
Prince yesterday afternoon and afterwards went to 
the Chapel Royal. In the evening the only addition 
to the royal dinner-party were Lord Liverpool and 
Lord Aberdeen/ who were staying in the house, and 
the Rev. J. Vane, who had preached in the morning. 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Febry. i^th, 1843. 

Dearest Mammy, — . . . Lady Charlemont was 
delighted with our evening, which was passed at the 
Queen's table, in conversation, which quite suited her 
■ — indeed Lord Liverpool and Lord Hardwicke got 
quite boisterous at one moment, to the Queen's great 
amusement, about the new principle of warming houses 
by hot water, which is beautiful in theory but not 
quite so good in practice, as the servants get careless 
about keeping the fires up to the right heat ; Lord 
Hardwicke, who has just put the whole apparatus at 
his place, said they should be taught to understand 
the process, and then they would know the right 
degree better ; upon which Lord Aberdeen, who is 
always putting in a few words apropos, said, " Oh ! 
if you keep philosophers to poke your fires, I have no 
doubt it will do beautifully," which made us all laugh 
and ended the discussion. Lady Charlemont goes 
to-morrow, and Lady Canning ^ succeeds her, being 
exchanged with Lady Mount Edgecumbe,^ who wished 
to stay a little longer in Paris. 

■I George, fourth Earl of Aberdeen, 1 784-1 860. 

2 Hon. Charlotte Stuart, elder daughter of Lord Stuart de Roth- 
say, w. Cliarles, Viscount Canning, 1835. 

' Caroline, eldest daughter of Rear-Admiral and Lady Elizabeth 
Feilding, m. Ernest, third Earl of Mount Edgecumbe, aide-de-camp 
to Queen Victoria. 



A MAID OF HONOUR 33 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We had the Emlyns,^ 
Lord Lincoln,^ and Lord Liverpool at dinner yester- 
day, and had a charming game at vingt-et-un, at which 
the Prince, being banker as usual, won six shillings. 
I ought not to complain much though, as I neither 
lost or won, so it was none of it my money. The 
Queen was conversational with us all after dinner, 
particularly about all Lady Charlemont's misfortunes, 
the greatest of which I forgot to tell you, namely, 
her walking out of the dining-room before Kent ! ! on 
Monday ! She was so shocked, poor woman, that I 
believe it was being so upset herself, that made her 
upset her cup of coffee all over the Queen's scarf 
too ! ! 

1 John, Viscount Emlyn, afterwards second Earl Cawdor, and his 
wife, Sarah Mary, daughter of General the Hon. Henry Compton 
Cavendish. 

* Henry Pelham, Earl of Lincohi, afterwards fifth Duke of New- 
castle, 1811-1864. 



CHAPTER IV 

A STATE VISIT 

The Grand Duke Michael — Prince Eli§ Dolgorouky — " Je vous dis 
cela en grand-papa ' ' — The heir of all the Russias — Tobacco 
smoke — " Princess smell Grand Duke ! " — Travellers' tales — ^The 
Queen changes her mind — "The light fantastic" — Practising 
reels — A cold ride — On the Terrace. 

September 30, 1843, finds Eleanor Stanley at Windsor. 
She writes home about walks with her brother Edward, 
who is still at Eton and with whom she ascends the 
Round Tower to enjoy a " transcendent " view ; she 
tells us of a long ride that she had with the Queen, 
accompanied by Lord Stanley,^ Sir E. Bowater,^ and 
Lord Charles Wellesley : ^ " The day was perfect for 
riding, but heavy, and I am afraid we shall have tor- 
rents ; indeed the Queen was so doubtful about its 
holding up that two coaches and four galloped after 
us all over the Park, in case the rain should come on, 
to take us all home.. Was not this truly royal P Lady 
Lyttelton and the Prince of Wales arrive on Monday, 
and the Claremont plan is given up ; the Grand Duke 

^ Edward, Baron Stanley, eldest son of the fourteenth Earl of 
Derby. 

* Major-General Sir E. Bowater, groom-in-waiting to Queen 
Victoria. 

' Lord Charles Wellesley, second son of Arthur, first Duke ol 
Wellington. 

34 




QUEEN VICTORIA ON HORSEBACK 
After the painting by E. Corbould 



..r 



A STATE VISIT 35 

MichaeP comes on Tuesday, and so do the Woronzows,* 
Brunnows,^ and some others." 

On October 3, she writes to her father that she 
had driven past Buckhurst, a place that he used to 
take for the summer in past years, and had almost ex- 
pected to see her mother and the grey ponies drive 
out of the gates. " The Queen and Prince are cer- 
tainly very fond of gadding about,* they are gone to 
Kew to-day, to see the Duchess of Gloucester^ and 
Princess Sophia,' w^ho are living there, in the King of 
Hanover's house ; they have taken no lady, nothing 
but equerries, and are coming home at three o'clock — 
active people ! " 

On October 4, the Grand Duke Michael arrived 
at the Castle. 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 
Windsor Castle, Thursday, Oct. $th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — Our second evening in the 
Waterloo Gallery, though dull, I found was not so bad 
as the first. The Lyttelton girls dined here ; Lavinia' 

* The Grand Duke Michael, brother of Tsar Nicholas I. 
' Count and Countess Woronzoff . 

' The Russian Ambassador and his wife. 

* The Queen and Prince had just paid the historic visit to King 
Louis Philippe at Chateau d'Eu, had then proceeded to Brighton, and 
from thence had gone to Brussels to visit the King of the Belgians. 

• Princess Mary, fourth daughter of George III, widow of the 
second Duke of Gloucester, 1776-1857. 

• Princess Sophia, daughter of the first Duke of Gloucester, 1773- 
1848. 

' The Hon. Lavinia Ljrttleton, m. the Rev, Henry Glynne, rector 
of Hawarden, 1843. 



36 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

looked very pretty and very happy, and Lady Lyttelton 
also seemed very much pleased. She is to be married 
on Saturday, 14th. ... I sat between Lord Seaham ^ 
and Prince Elie Dolgorouky ; ^ I am enabled to give 
you his name thus at full length, as he took it into his 
head, as well as Generals Tolstoy and Lanskoy, to send 
a pack of visiting cards to our apartments yesterday 
morning, and as the music was ordered to play lower, 
and contented itself with strumming the Russian hymn 
over and over again in a subdued tone, I had a great 
deal of conversation with both my neighbours ; Lord 
Seaham I found far more agreeable and nicer than I 
expected. As to Prince D., he was killing ; he first 
of all tried his powers by praising the room, the pic- 
tures, the gold plate, and the Scotch piper, whom they 
have had here since the month of May ; Lord Breadal- 
bane ^ engaged him for them, and he is a brother of the 
D. of Sussex's piper, Mackay ; on great occasions he 
walks round the room during dinner playing Scotch 
airs, ^nd on common days he helps to hand the soup 
and fish. Yesterday he favoured us with the Reel of 
Tulloch — and the dress and bagpipes and the whole 
thing was very amusing to the Russians. . . . But 
to return to Prince D. He suddenly turned to me 
and asked if I would lay him under eternal obligations 
to me by answering a question he wished to ask me — 
which was — whether there was no word in the English 
language that would describe the particular shade of 
my hair, as it was something one saw in dreams and 
paintings, but he had never yet seen it in real life, and 
he could imagine nothing so beautiful. I said modestly 

^ Frederick, Viscount Seaham, eldest son of third Marquis of 
Londonderry. 

* A distinguished Russian General. 

^ John, second Marquis of Breadalbane, 



A STATE VISIT 37 

I wished it was a little darker, but there was no word 
more than " fair," or blonde. He then said he was 
going to write a book of his travels in England, and 
he hoped I would allow him to send me a copy on 
" Papier de Chine, avec toutes les scenes interessantes " 
that might befall him here, lithographed in great style, 
and bound in cerise silk, because " cette couleur ravis- 
sante " — pointing to my gown — was the one that best 
became me, and that I must not be surprised to see 
that " une jeune dame, avec des cheveux extr^me- 
ment jair. Miss S. . . . " was what had most en- 
chanted him. Seeing that I looked a little surprised, 
and was laughing slightly, he added : " Je vous dis 
cela, pas en jeune homme, mais en grand-papa, p^re 
d'une jeune personne de i8 ans, et d'une autre mariee 
depuis long-temps," and then hoped I would visit 
Russia, &c., &c. I nearly died of the effort of keeping 
my countenance. 

In the afternoon we took a long drive all round 
Virginia Water, going by Bishopsgate and the Obelisk, 
and returning by the fishing temple, which I had never 
seen before, and from which the view is very pretty, 
and then home by the Buckhurst Gate Road and the 
Long Walk. Some of the Russians, who were riding, 
were terribly knocked up, tho' we did not go at a very 
great pace, the Princes being all on horseback, but 
they fretted their horses' mouths so dreadfully by 
pulling at them that they would not go on quietly. 
One of the poor creatures suffered so much that he 
means to remain in his own room all day to repose 
himself. 

The Brunnows desire all manner of kind regards, 
and at breakfast this morning he begged I would add 
a confidential message to you from him to say that I 



38 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

had made a conquest of the Grand Duke, who thought 
me trh jolie and des manihes charmantes. As yet his 
admiration has not proceeded beyond looks, for I have 
never uttered to him, except v^^hen the Queen presented 
us all, he said ^^ Bonjour, Madame ^^ ; but perhaps 
he may express his feelings more plainly to-day. I 
write all this trash to you, dear Mammy, for I know 
you like to hear all about me ; Lady Canning is going 
to the Chapel this morning, and us with her, so I shall 
say adieu, and with best love to dearest Pap, I remain 
ever your most affectionate child, 

Eleanor Julian Stanley. 

Mdlle. de Flahault^ is to be married early this 
month ; they have been touring about in Germany 
with Lord Shelburne this last six weeks. 



Windsor Castle, Thursday, Oct. 5th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — Thank Heaven, our last evening 
of the state-rooms is safely accomplished, and to- 
morrow we return to private life, as Lady Lyttelton 
used to call it. There was a large party, the Ansons, 
Harcourts, and Woronzow gentlemen, besides the 
Kondriaffsky and the party staying in the Castle. 
I sat between Mr. Courtenay ^ and Prince Dolgorouky, 
who again promised me his book ; and, saying that 
I had the air of a fersonne instruite, began interro- 
gating me about the schism in the Scottish Church, 
the difference between that and the English Church, 

^ Emily, eldest daughter of Comte de Flahault, Baroness Nairn 
in her own right, m. Henry, Lord Shelburne, afterwards fourth Marquis 
Qf Lansdowne. 

2 The Hon. and Rev. Charles Courtenay, son of William, eleventh 
Earl of Devon, 



A STATE VISIT 39 

the relative proportion of Protestants and R. Catholics 
in Ireland, &c. I, having the dread of seeing my 
answers appear in print before my eyes, answered, 
very discreetly and modestly, that I did not know much 
about it. I talked a good deal though in the French way 
of parler beaucoup sans rien dire, which somehow comes 
by inspiration when one is talking French. After 
dinned I had an immense conversation with the Grand 
Duke himself, but he smelt so terribly of smoke that I 
did not lose my heart, though he was extremely anxious 
I should visit Petersburg, and when I said, laughing, 
I was afraid it was impossible, he said, " Comment 
impossible ! Cela ne depend que de vous." I am 
afraid also Mrs. Michael is still in good preservation, 
so it would be no use. The Hohenlohes ^ are the nicest 
royalties, tho' in fact they are not royal, he being a 
subject, and by no means a rich one, and the right- 
hand man of the King of Bavaria,^ who seldom can 
spare him, as he does not know what to do without 
him. 

The Queen had on the cerise crepe de Chine, 
trimmed round the bottom with three rows of lace. 
It is a very handsome gown, and sets off her jewels 
and blue ribbon very well, but it looks very hot, being, 
in fact, bright scarlet. . . . There is to be a review 
to-morrow before the Grand Duke goes. He was out 
shooting this morning, and was much pleased with 
his day's sport. In the afternoon the Queen and 
Princes rode out, and Miss Hamilton with her, it 
being her turn ; riding, we always take in turn, without 
regard to our waiting days. 

1 Ernest, Prince Hohenlohe, 1794, and his wife, Princess Anne of 
Leiniiigen, 1807-1872. 

• Ludwig, King of Bavaria. 



40 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Friday Morning. 

The day is gloomy, though it does not actually rain, 
but the weather is not tempting for the review. By 
the by, I have not yet mentioned the news that arrived 
from Russia to-day, that the Czarewitz has got a boy/ 
It is a great event, the birth of the heir of All the 
Russias, and they were in a great state of excitement 
about it. . . . The review is over, without rain, 
the' it looks threatening, the Grand Duke is gone, 
and the Prince with him as far as Sandhurst, which 
they have neither of them ever seen, and, as the Grand 
Duke wished to go, the Prince thought it an excellent 
opportunity to see it too. The Gr. D. posts from 
thence to London, and notre Albert will be home again 
for a late lunch. . . . The Duke of Wellington was 
rather in a fuss, because he sent to London for his 
uniform, and they sent the wrong epaulettes ; so 
he wrapped himself up in a short military cloak to 
conceal them, to our great amusement. He, as well 
as all the rest, are going or gone. 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Oct. 7th, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — . . . We sat in the usual 
drawing-rooms last night, and all agreed it was a 
great comfort to get back to them. We did not join 
the Queen's circle, the Hohenlohes and Woronzows 
and Duchess of Kent, who is not so constant to her 
whist as she used to be, filling her table completely. 
I sat next Prince Hohenlohe at dinner ; he is agree- 
able, and talked German to me at a great fate ; he 
is twenty years older than her I believe, but they seem 

1 Prince Nicholas, b. September 20, 1843, elder brother of Tsar 
Alexander III, 



A STATE VISIT 41 

very happy together. They say the smell of tobacco 
in the Grand Duke's room beggars description ; 
Brunnow, who was in agonies about his smoking all 
the time he was here, knowing the Queen's dislike to 
it, asked to go into them after he was gone, and was 
quite horrified ; they say she will not be able to put 
anybody into them this year again. It is bad enough 
all up the Gallery, even little Princess Royal walked 
about snuffing the air near his door, and said : 
" Princess smell the Grand Duke " — rather clever 
of her, considering she is not three years old. 
Count Woronzow seems a very agreeable, well-in- 
formed man, and Lady C. approves of him, because 
she says he is so polite. I thought she would never 
leave the breakfast-table, she was talking so much 
about O'Connell and justice for Ireland, for his edifi- 
cation, and Lord Hawarden ^ was playing her off, and 
telling his own Irish stories, some of which I have 
heard a dozen times. . . . 



Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. 8th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — I begin a little of my letter for 
to-morrow, just to keep you au fait of what we are 
doing, which is not much just now. Yesterday at 
lunch a new Russian importation arrived, in the shape 
of Prince Bariatinsky ; he came to England to an- 
nounce the birth of the Russian heir to the Grand 
Duke, and, now he is here, he says he will stay a few 
months in England. The Normanbys ^ were expected 
here yesterday, but did not arrive, and I do not know 

* Comwallis, third Viscount Hawarden. 

* Constantine, first Marquis of Normanby and his wife, the 
Hon. Maria Liddel, eldest daughter of Thomas, first Lord 
Ravensworth, 



42 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

what detained them. Lady Lyttelton and her daugh- 
ters, and Miss Pole Carew (she writes her name that 
way) came in the evening, but nothing particular was 
done ; Lady Lyttelton sat at the Queen's table, and 
the girls at ours, and the Russian played whist with 
the Duchess. 

I took a drive with Lady Charlemont yesterday 
afternoon, to see a wonderful vine at Cumberland Lodge. 
It is one root, and spreads so as completely to fill the 
hothouse, which is 138 feet long; it is about forty 
years old, and in excellent bearing. The grapes are 
black Hamburgh, and very good, as I can testify, as the 
gardener gave Lady C. a large bunch, and as she did 
not like them, and begged I would put them away in 
a safe place, so as not to stain anything, I thought 
eating them up was much the safest plan. 

We afterwards went to the Arbuthnots, who are 
away just now, and there we got out and walked about 
the lawn, and she gathered an enormous leaf of a 
magnolia tree ; hardly were we seated in the carriage 
again when she, in her placid way, said, "Will you kindly 
put this leaf into some safe place for me ? " I won- 
dered whether she meant me to treat it as I had done 
the grapes ; however, as / did not think it so tempting, 
I held it in my hand till we got home, when she took 
it out df my hand and conveyed it to her room with 
great care ; I wonder what on earth she means to do 
with it ; perhaps she has turned botanist lately. 

Prince Bariatinsky has been keeping us in fits of 
laughing all breakfast time by his grand travellers' 
stories ; one among others about a Countess Daschkow 
Woronzow, who, having sore eyes, and being, more- 
over, very plain, had herself magnetised to find out 
what was the best remedy for these two evils — the 



A STATE VISIT 43 

answer being that her head must be baked in a loaf 
of brown bread ; the baker was accordingly sent for, 
her head cased in brown bread, and the whole put into 
the oven ; and from that moment she began to im- 
prove, and now she is ravissante, and the eyes, no longer 
sore, do great execution among the Russians. He 
had the grace to add, " J'ose a peine raconter cos his- 
toires devant des etrangers, parcequ'on pourrait me 
dire que les voyageurs ont beau jeu a mentir ; mais 
cela est bien vrai, car je le tiens de la Comtesse elle- 
meme." 

There was also a story about a Cossack taming a 
horse by a whisper, and then, on being refused the 
honour and glory of having accomplished it, forbidding 
the horse to move in a second whisper, when the horse 
allowed himself to be killed by stoning, rather than 
disobey. This he professes to have seen with his own 
eyes on Mt. Caucasus. Lady Charlemont is in rap- 
tures with him, and believes it all firmly. We had 
prayers in the Castle to-day, as the Queen was rather 
fatigued with the long service at St. George's Sunday 
last. 

Monday, Oct. gth. 

This is the blank day, always a great distress to me. 
Yesterday afternoon the Queen ordered us to walk 
with her at four, but soon afterwards there came an- 
other message, that " Her Majesty had changed her 
mind," which horrified Lady C, as she said it was 
disrespectful to suppose the Queen could change her 
mind, as if she was capricious. The Ansons dined 
here, and we spelt words as usual. The Russian 
Prince is going this morning, after having an audience 
of the royal children at half -past ten. 

Adieu, my dearest dear Mama, give my best love 



f 



44 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and a kiss to Pap, and believe me ever, your most 
affectionate child, Eleanor Julian Stanley. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Tuesday, Oct. loth, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — I heard of your safe arrival at 
Glasgow yesterday afternoon, to my great satisfaction. 
The weather does not seem to have been so stormy 
on that coast on Friday night as it was here, which 
was a comfort to you. I received your two letters 
from Belfast and Glasgow at the same time, and 
sympathise deeply in the horrors of the pigs as fellow- 
passengers on the Irish railway. I heard from Ois 
too — very low at losing you, but consoled by seeing 
you were so sorry to go and leave the Emerald Isle. 

. . . We were all caught in the rain yesterday, as 
the Queen, who had at first ordered us to sit in the 
gallery of the Riding School and look at her and the 
Prince riding, fortunately changed her mind again, and 
said she would not ride, and had no orders for us ; 
so Lady C. took us to the Home farm, to see the 
pigeons and bantams, and there we found the Royalty, 
and were all overtaken by the rain, a mile or more 
from the Castle. The Queen does not mind getting 
wet, but Prince Albert hates it particularly. . . . We 
saw the Royal children yesterday morning ; they seem 
nice, intelligent little things, particularly Princess 
Royal (whose hair is grown much darker), but very 
very small. 

. . . One of the pieces of tapestry ^ from the 

1 Gobelin tapestry presented by King Louis Philippe, 



A STATE VISIT 45 

King of the French is put up temporarily in our break- 
fast room ; it is beautiful of its kind, the colours being 
rich and mellow ; but it is too near us, so it does not 
get fair play, and the design is so very French, nothing 
but arms and legs catching one's eye at the first glance, 
though, after that, one may discover a horse rearing 
alarmingly, and a boar frantic at being held down by 
the ears by two dogs, besides hunters and wood- 
nymphs armed with bows and arrows, and corpses of 
men and dogs strewed about. They are rather at a 
loss what to do with it, having no room where they 
can put it up at present. . . . 

Lady Charlemont still affords a good deal of 
amusement to the Maid of Honour. She asserts her 
authority one minute, and is found soon after taking 
" wholesome exercise " in the swing all by herself. 
She dehghts in the conversation of " clever men," 
and sits long over the breakfast-table with Sir Robert 
Peel and M. Van de Weyer. There had been a dance 
the night before, when Sir Robert Peel had tripped it 

" on the light fantastic with Lady De La Warr,* 
as merrily as the youngest of us, through a long 
country dance, quite forgetful that the destinies of 
the nation were in his hands, and he says he is much 
the better for it this morning, and is convinced it is 
the wholesomest exercise one can take ; in which 
Lord De La Warr, who also shared largely in 
it, quite agreed, he having danced with Princess 

1 Lady Elizabeth Sackville, Baroness Buckhurst in her own right, 
daughter and co-heir of the third Duke of Dorset, m. George, fifth Earl 
de la Warr, 1813. 



46 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Hohenlohe. . . . We had besides two quadrilles 
and two waltzes ; and all was over and we had 
retired at five minutes past eleven. There were no 
men as usual, Lord Seaham being absent from 
Windsor, and Captain Seymour ^ not being in London, 
so they neither of them came, and no other young 
men were asked, except a Mr. Cowell, a ci-devant 
page and now a Guardsman, tall and gawky. The 
dancing is, however, a great improvement on the 
usual evenings, particularly just now when, on 
account of the number of ladies, we ' Maids ' are 
usually sent to our own table. We took a walk 
yesterday in the grounds . . . Miss H. rode with the 
Queen, and says they went at an immense pace, on the 
roads all the way, as the Queen thought it would be 
cold and damp on the green drives and in the woods." 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father , 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Oct. 1843. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . This waiting is certainly a 
dull one ; yesterday we had to attend the Queen to 
the Riding School, and sit for an hour and a half look- 
ing on, while she and the Prince rode. They tried 
two or three horses, Spanish beasts, a cream colour 
and a piebald, both frights to my mind, and so wooden 
I would not be condemned to ride them for any con- 
sideration, but apparently very safe and quiet. I 
cannot help thinking Meyer spoils all the horses by 
his way of breaking them ; he makes them all hold 
their heads back and their chins in, and canter like 

1 Captain F. Seymour, afterwards fifth Marquis of Hertford, 
equerry to Prince Consort and groom-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. 



A STATE VISIT 47 

rocking horses. But perhaps the Prince, being a 
German, likes that, and the Queen always lets her 
horses ride her. ... I had a kind visit from Lady 
Lyttelton yesterday, just before she went to London 
for Lavinia's marriage, which is to be on Saturday. 
She is very kind, and made me play and sing to her, 
and made pretty speeches. I cannot help being a little 
afraid of her still ; there is something rather con- 
strained and alarming in her manner. The Royalty 
have all been most kind about Lavinia ; the Queen 
gave her an Indian shawl (one of the seventy she got 
this year from Shir Singh, I suppose), a very handsome 
one ; the Prince a bracelet ; and the Duchess of 
Kent a brooch, with a very sweet note to Lady Lyttel- 
ton, saying she hoped her daughter would accept it as 
a small token of her gratitude to the mother, for her 
care of her young charges here. The Duchess is 
certainly always most kind. . . . 

The other piece of tapestry, Atalanta weeping over 
the dead body of Meleager, or some such thing, is 
arrived, and I like it much better than the first. The 
figure of Atalanta is beautiful. But what do you think 
they mean to do with them ? The Prince says there 
is no place fit for them, so they are to be set in the wall 
of the oak room, which is to be pulled to pieces for 
that, and, as the two sides are not near long enough 
to admit the tapestry, it is to be turned back about 
2 feet at each side to make it fit. Did 5^ou ever hear 
anything so barbarous, spoiling both our own beautiful 
oak panelling and their fine tapestry ; and the Prince 
after that flatters himself he is a man of taste, and 
talks of encouraging the fine arts ! 



48 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Oct. 1843. 

Dearest Papa, — After dinner, before the gentle- 
men came in, we had great fun teaching H.M. to dance 
reels ; she could not at all manage the figure of 8 ; she 
never got back to her place in time, and " one, two, 
three, hop," was altogether above her comprehension, 
she being too dignified ever to hop on one foot, which, 
however, is absolutely necessary in a reel. We all 
laughed very much, however, and amused ourselves 
excessively. The piper played to us, and I doubt not 
that he was very much edified by the anxiety of his 
Sovereign to learn the national dances of her Scottish 
subjects. . . . I afterwards won sixpence at Old Maid, 
we being desired to join the Royal circle. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. ly th, 1843. 

Dearest Papa, — I had a delightful afternoon with 
the Queen and Prince yesterday, being alone with them 
in the carriage coming from and going to Swinley, and 
they were both very gracious and talkative, and the 
Prince told good stories, very well indeed, and was the 
first to laugh at them himself, in the most condescend- 
ing manner. He also put on my shawl with his royal 
hands, and very cleverly ; you may imagine how proud 
I felt at the honour. The views we went to see were 
beautiful. Claremont on one side, and Sandhurst 
on the other ; the day was bitterly cold, but the 
lights were lovely. The Queen's horse unluckily 



A STATE VISIT 49 

changed its legs once, which so alarmed H.M. that 
she made Meyer get off his, to lead hers, so we walked 
till we were all but frozen to death, she being afraid 
to canter till, about a mile from the place where the 
carriages were to meet us, she could stand it no 
longer, so we all got off, and began running as fast as 
we could along the road to warm ourselves, stopping 
occasionally to refresh exhausted nature with black- 
berries, which she seemed very fond of, and then racing 
again, tucking up our habits most edifyingly, so that 
when we got to the carriages we were much more com- 
fortable. The Prince, however, proposed we should 
bake^ using that word, to which the Queen signified 
her assent by instantly shutting her window, and we 
had a charming drive home. . . . 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Oct. i8th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — I have to thank you for your long 
account of the Grand Duke's arrival at Buchanan ; ^ he 
is a perfect duck of a man, I think — I wrote you he was 
a fine-looking man, though his face is not handsome, 
but he has the neatest foot and ankle I ever saw . . . 
the Queen goes on Wednesday, 25th, to stay till 
Saturday, to Lord Hardwicke's, which is ten miles from 
Cambridge ; I believe Lady Portman will be in waiting 
then ; if so, it will be very nice ; at any rate Col. 
Grey will be there. 

The Prince is gone out with the harriers this morn- 
ing ; it is very fine, though frosty and very cold . . . 

* Seat of the Duke of Montrose. 



50 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Lord Enniskillen ^ is going to be married to Miss Casa 
Major — I believe that is the right way of spelHng it. 

Adieu, dearest Mammy, love to Pap and all from 
your most affectionate child 

Eleanor Julian Stanley. 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Oct. igth, 1843, 

My dearest Mama, — I am just come from break- 
fast, where we heard a great deal of both amusing and 
interesting information about the late war in China, 
from Col. Malcolm, who is staying here, and who is 
just come home from China. He is an agreeable man, 
and very polite to Lady C., who is in raptures about 
him, and very blue and dignified in consequence. We 
are to see at lunch some little toys and embroidered 
fan cases he has brought here for the Queen and Royal 
children. He says it is a very interesting country, 
but that one of the things that amused the English 
most was the surprise the Chinese testified at seeing 
the English ladies dining and conversing with their 
husbands and friends on terms of equality ; very 
different from their little-footed ladies, who, though 
very kindly treated, and all able to read and write, are 
nevertheless quite uneducated, and never presume 
to give an opinion on any subject. ... In the after- 
noon I had to attend the Queen to the Riding School, 
with Lady C. . . . After the ride the Queen took a 
few turns in her habit, on the Terrace, and we had great 
fun, as Lady C. told her I walked so fast nobody could 
keep up with me (for nobody read Lady C. and Miss H.), 
which made the Q. anxious to prove she could walk 
as fast, so she went at a pace that kept the poor lady 

^ William, third Earl of Enniskillen, m. Jane, eldest daughter of 
James Casamaijor, i6th January 1844. 



A STATE VISIT 51 

in waiting panting and half running to keep up with 
her, while we were all in fits at the scene. Late in 
the evening, before I went to dress, the Queen sent 
for me to accompany her, the Prince, and Princess 
Hohenlohe in a chorus ; they rather wanted me to 
sing the tenor part too, as they had no tenor, but this 
I could not manage, it not being for a woman's voice, 
and besides a difficult accompaniment to read at sight 
was quite as much as I could accomplish. It was a 
book of German choruses by Mendelssohn, and the 
Prince gave it me to practise, so I suppose I shall be 
sent for again. 



CHAPTER V 

CAMBRIDGE 

Music at Court — Princess Royal — The visit to Cambridge — Loyalty — 
Crowds of sight-seers — The ceremony — Chivalrous undergraduates 
— The Bible forgotten— Professor Sedgwick — Sight-seeing — Wim- 
pole — A service of danger — Back at Windsor — An inconsiderate 
horse. 

The Queen and Prince Consort were, as is well known, 
passionately fond of music, and the Maids of Honour 
were frequently chosen for their musical talents. 

Eleanor Stanley had been very well educated. She 
spoke French and German fluently, had studied water- 
colour painting under Harding,^ and music with Chopin,^ 
whose pupil she had been when making a prolonged 
stay in Paris at the age of sixteen. In many of her 
letters she speaks of accompanying the Queen's songs, 
or singing with her. On Saturday, October 21 st, 1 843, 
she writes : 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

At half-past six I was sent for to sing with the 
Royalty, or rather to accompany them, for I could 
hardly sing and play at the same time, particularly 
as I was playing at sight, as they, as usual, changed 

^ James Duffield Harding, 1 798-1 863. 
' Frederic Chopin, 1 809-1 849, 



CAMBRIDGE 53 

their minds, and did not sing what they had given me 
to practise, which was an Oratorio of Mendelssohn's. 
We sang a whole requiem of Mozart's, in the course of 
which there was a beautiful aria for the Queen, and a 
duet for the Prince and Princess Hohenlohe, besides 
the choruses. We then varied the charm with some 
opera music, out of Die Schzveizer Famillie and the 
Huguenots ; and ended by my accompanying the Prince 
in several little German songs, one of which was so 
pretty that I asked leave to copy it, and have got it 
here for that purpose. Princess Royal was in the 
room most of the time, so quiet and good, contenting 
herself with occasionally saying " I like the music," 
and "Look at mypretty frock," which was white muslin, 
worked with blue between the tucks ; and playing at 
bo-peep with the Queen's scarf, nobody paying her 
the least attention, and she not seeming to expect any, 
but to be really quite amused with the music. I came 
away at twenty minutes to eight, and, as we were to 
dine rather earlier because of the dancing after dinner, 
you may think I was in a great hurry to dress. Luckily 
the Duchess of Kent was not coming, having a cold ; 
so I was just in time, and we sat down to dinner before 
ten minutes past eight. I wore my pink cr^pe, with 
the flowers on the skirt, and my rose wreath on my 
head. I waltzed with Prince Hohenlohe, which was 
a proud distinction^ as he had not danced for ten years, 
and only did it at the Queen's earnest request, but it 
was more honour than pleasure, for he made a most 
extraordinary step, consisting of a hop and a kick, 
managing by some mysterious means to get round in 
time, but not very pleasantly ... the Palmerstons ^ 

» Henry Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, 1 784-1 865, and his 
wife, Amelia, daughter of first Viscount Melbourne, and widow of 
fifth Earl Cowper. 



54 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

were asked for Monday, but I think somebody said 
they were not in town. 

On October 25th, the Queen and Prince Consort 
went to Cambridge, where an honorary degree was 
conferred on the Prince. They were guests of Dr. W. 
Whewell,^ the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, staying 
with him at the Master's Lodge, Trinity College, 
which is recognised as the royal residence when the 
Sovereign is in Cambridge. It was the Queen's first 
visit to the University. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Oct. 2yd, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — The time of my stay here is 
getting very short, and I cannot tell you how I long to 
be with you all in Scotland, though I am sure I shall 
enjoy my Cambridge trip very much. 

We start on Wednesday at half-past seven, and go 
by special train to London, and then post down to 
Cambridge, where we hope to be by two o'clock ; the 
afternoon will be spent in seeing the colleges and sights 
of all kinds ; and in the evening the Queen gives a 
dinner, in the Master's House, at Trinity College, to 
the most distinguished personages. She sleeps there ; 
it seems there is in the charter of the University a 
clause saying that whenever the Sovereign visits it 
he shall live at the Master's House. The next day we 
sight-see again all morning, and, after lunch, go to 

1 Dr. W. Whewell, D.D., LL.D., Master of Trinity and Vice- 
Chancellor of Cambridge, 1 794-1 866, 



CAMBRIDGE 55 

Wimpole, Lord Hardwicke's, where we remain till 
Saturday. The party is very small — Lady Mount- 
Edgcumbe and me, the two equerries, and C. Murray 
or Lord Liverpool ; Lord Warwick ^ stays to take care 
of the children, and the Queen takes no Lord ... I 
had a great deal of singing on Saturday, from three till 
four, with Princess Hohenlohe, and from six till half- 
past seven with all the Royalty and Costa,^ who had 
been sent for from London ; he certainly accom- 
panies quite beautifully, only I think if one got much 
used to singing to his accompaniment one would never 
be able to do without it. He sang the tenor part, 
which was a great thing, as the music sounded incom- 
plete without it. He is coming this evening again, 
so I hold myself in readiness. The Queen went yes- 
terday to the little Chapel at Cumberland Lodge, 
attended by Lady C, so we stayed and heard service 
in the Castle ; in the afternoon, as she had no orders 
for us, we went to the Chapel, and in the evening we 
had the usual spelling lesson. 

{Postscript) . . . What a comfort to you all to have 
got rid of the Shelleys ! ' I shall certainly look at poor 
Uncle Charles's monument, as Col. Grey is there. I 
am sure I can manage it ; and I should like to see it 
again. Do you remember we all went to it when we 
saw Cambridge ages ago, in the days of my youth ? 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Oct. 2^th, 1843. 

My dearest Mammy, — I am in a great bustle, 
packing what is to go, and what is to stay here ; I 

1 Henry, third Earl of Warwick, Lord in Waiting to Queen Victoria. 

* Sir Michael Costa, 1810-1884. 

* Sir John Shelley, sixth Baronet, and his wife, Frances^ daughter 
and heiress of Thomas Winckley of Brockholes, 



56 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

shall wear my cerise and acacia wreath, to enchant 
the professors, to whom the Queen gives a dinner 
to-morrow ; and shall travel down in my lilac silk 
and cr^pe bonnet, to be all smart to go with the 
Queen ; her dressers start at half-past five, to be 
there to have all ready for her to make a toilette as 
soon as she arrives, but, as we cannot send our maids 
off so early, they will not arrive till two hours after 
us, and we must go from here in our finery. I do hope 
the weather will be fine, it makes such a difference in 
that sort of trip ; and they say at Cambridge it is of 
more importance than anywhere . . . We had a very 
large party yesterday, the Orkneys,^ Rosslyns,^ Palmer- 
stons, and old Lady Grenville,^ who came over from 
Dropmoreto dine and sleep. Mr.Grenville^wastohave 
come too, but he unluckily caught a cold on Saturday, 
and did not think it prudent at his age to run any risks 
by coming here. She seems such a nice old lady, wear- 
ing her own grey hair, plain in front, with a good deal 
of blonde or lace, in her white cap ; she never wears 
coloured ribbons on her head, and no silk skull cap 
or anything but tulle at the back, so that you see a 
thick roll of grey hair through her cap. She looked so 
nice, with her long sleeves and high gown yesterday 
at dinner. . . . 

Trinity College, Cambridge, 
' Wednesday, Oct. 25th, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — Wg have had a most success- 
ful journey ; leaving Windsor at twenty minutes 

1 Thomas, fifth Earl of Orkney, and his wife, the Hon. Charlotte 
Irby, daughter of George, third Lord Boston. 

2 James, third Earl of Rosslyn, and his wife, Frances, daughter of 
Lt.-General W. Wemyss. 

* Hon. Anne Pitt, sister and heir of the last Lord Camelford, widow 
of first Lord Grenville. She died, aged ninety-one, in 1864. 

* Hon. Thomas Grenville, brother of first Lord Grenville, 1 755-1 846. 



CAMBRIDGE 57 

before eight, and being at the Paddington Station 
before half-past eight, we came from thence direct 
to Cambridge, without any serious accidents, only- 
one or two yeomanry people getting falls from their 
horses, insisting on being the Queen's escort, whereas 
they were so fat and heavy they could hardly walk. 
One of them actually rolled off because he lost his 
stirrup, and was not active enough to recover it, while 
he was quietly jogging by the side of the carriage. 
From Melbourne, the last stage, ten miles from Cam- 
bridge, hundreds of farmers and people riding accom- 
panied us, many of their horses being knocked up, and 
therefore obliged to fall back, but at every such step 
thousands of others joined us that the last mile or two 
we could not go above a foot's pace. All the places we 
came through were decked out with flags and streamers 
and garlands of evergreens, with sprightly devices of 
" Hail, royal couple ! " &c., but nothing very extraordi- 
nary, though the whole show, with ail the population 
of the counties through which we passed, lining the 
road, looked very gay and pretty, particularly as the rain 
had ceased before we left the railroad, and towards 
twelve o'clock the day became brilliant. We got here 
at a quarter-past two, and lunched forthwith, having 
previously refreshed ourselves at twelve with sand- 
wiches and wine and water in the carriage (you know 
a great deal of eating always goes on at the Palace), and 
at a quarter-past three the Queen, having also lunched, 
and moreover attired herself in a Garter blue satin 
gown, pink crgpe bonnet, trimmed with lilies of the 
valley, and a small square black Indian shawl, worked 
in gold, having travelled in an old tartan satin and 
yellow bonnet), we set off to hear and answer the ad- 
dresses in Trinity Hall ; the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. 



58 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Whewell, first read the Queen's ; then she read her 
answer in a sweet clear voice, but with a decidedly 
foreign accent, which she rather has at all times, but 
it never struck me so much ; after that there was 
an address to the Prince, and his answer ; then the 
Masters of all the colleges were presented to the Queen, 
but did not kiss hands, merely coming forward and 
making a bow, each in turn, as his name was read. The 
Queen stood on the steps of the throne, and we at the 
foot of the steps by her ; the hall was filled almost 
immediately after the doors were opened, and it was 
a very pretty sight. After that we attended evening 
prayers in the Chapel of King's ; for that we had 
carriages, three of the state carriages having been 
brought here for the occasion ; the Hall, being ad- 
joining the Master's House, we walked to it. The 
Chapel is beautiful, as you know ; and the chanting 
was magnificent, but the service was very long, which 
was distressing, as it took up so much of our daylight. 
They had at first proposed to have it in the evening, 
but it was found on examination that there was no 
means of lighting it, so they were obliged to have ser- 
vice at the usual time, nominally half-past three, though 
it was near four before we had done with the addresses 
and got there. It was very cold, so much so that the 
Queen gave up her intention of driving through the 
walks at the back of King's, and came home ; she was, 
however, persuaded to go to see Newton's statue in 
Trinity Chapel, which they lit by means of torches 
carried by men, like in Italy, seeing the Vatican. We 
walked there, and as there was only a small part of the 
court laid down v^ith red cloth, and the loyal youth 
of the University would not let the sacred feet of their 
Sovereign touch the stones, they all whipped off their 



CAMBRIDGE 59 

gowns, and threw them on the ground, thus making 
a well-covered way for her — was it not a good idea ? 
— and on our return from the Chapel we found the 
loyalty had increased to such a degree that the whole 
way, even where there was cloth, was a foot thick at 
least of black silk gowns, mixed with a few red ones of 
the Law Doctors. By the by, Lord De La Warr and 
Lord Exeter^ sport red gowns, and look strange figures 
in them. I tried to see Uncle Charles's monument ; 
I think I did, but it was so dark I could hardly read 
the name, and I mean to make Col. Grey or Mr. Anson 
go with me to-morrow early if I can, to see it. The 
dinner is very small, only Mr. Goulburn,^ Dr. Whewell, 
and Lord Lyndhurst,^ in addition to the royal party, 
and in the evening there is to be a select number 
of Cambridgians admitted to a Levee to be held by 
Her Majesty ; but, as she is tired, it is to be very 
limited. 

WiMPOLE, Thursday, Oct. 26th, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — Our yesterday evening's 
levee went off very well, and we were none of us 
sorry to be dismissed to bed at ten o'clock precisely ; 
I say to bed, as that was the use we all immediately 
made of our liberty, for, not two minutes after the Queen 
and Prince were gone, Lord De La Warr asked to see 
him for a moment, and he was already half-undressed. 
The house is very old-fashioned, but comfortable, 
except that the windows don't shut close, so we were 
all very cold, besides being tired to death. The Lev^e 
began at a quarter-past nine, and did not last above 

* Brownlow, second Marquis of Exeter. 

* Rev. Edward Goulbum, Chaplain to Queen Victoria, and after* 
wards Dean of Norwich, 1818-1897. 

* Sir John Singleton Copley, Baron Lyndhurst, 1 772-1863. 



6o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

half an hour, as they merely passed before the Queen, 
being named by Whewell, the Master of Trinity, 
without kissing hands. This morning, not being 
required to attend the Queen before a quarter to ten, 
I began the day by going to morning prayers in Trinity 
Chapel with Col. Grey and Mr. Anson. ... I saw 
Uncle Charles's monument. . . . The Chapel was 
crammed with the Cantabs, but I was the only woman 
in it, consequently a person of great importance, and, 
indeed, at first taken for the Queen; some of the gowns- 
men calling out, " See how active she is ! going to 
church already ! " We breakfasted with the Master 
and Mrs. Whewell, who is a sister of the late Mrs. 
Elliott, and of Mr. Marshall that married Miss Spring 
Rice ; she is a very nice person, and, as to him I have 
quite lost my heart to him, he is so very agreeable, 
well-informed, and pleasant in conversation. ... At 
ten minutes to ten we set off for the Senate House, 
where the Prince was to be made a Doctor of Laws, 
but it seems they did not expect the Queen till ten, 
when they say all would have been ready ; as it was, 
there were no oaths, so, after some delay, the Latin 
oration having been made, the Vice-Chancellor (Dr. 
Whewell) administered them to the Prince from memory; 
which, as far as we were concerned, did just as well, 
though the learned said he had forgotten them half, and 
quite altered the words, being nervous and puzzled. 
Then there was no Bible forthcoming, to swear upon 
(or rather to kiss), so, after some demur. Lord Arthur 
Hervey,^ who was there as a spectator, recollected he 
had a little church service in his pocket, and produced 
it, and it was accordingly kissed twice by H.R.H., and 

1 The Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey, fourth son of first Marquis of 
Bristol, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1808-189^. 



CAMBRIDGE 6i 

afterwards by the Rev. Mr. Phelps, Master of one of 
the Colleges, who took the degree of Doctor of Divinity, 
that they might see that ceremony too ; but this went 
off worse still ; the poor man was frightened to death, 
and indeed it was rather nervous work, standing in 
the middle of the raised platform, exactly before the 
Queen seated on the throne, and in view of the 
thousands that thronged the hall and galleries above, 
and even the Prince looked a little uneasy, and stood 
on one leg twisting his red gown, with which they had 
just invested him ; and this other poor man was of 
course much more awkward. However, in spite of 
these little drawbacks, which were hardly perceptible 
at the time, except in making the ceremony longer, it 
all went off very well, and we got safe back into the 
carriages, we being with the Q. and Pr., and the gentle- 
men in another carriage, which was fortunate for us, 
as the crowd was so dreadful we could hardly have 
escaped some accident if we had had to get through it 
often. We then went to the Library and the Geological 
Museum, which was explained by Professor Sedgwick,^ 
who told us a great deal about Minodons — enormous 
and antediluvian animals, &c. &c., and the crowd, being 
admitted into the Museum, pressed dreadfully upon 
us, so we were very glad to get out of it, and at all the 
other places they shut the gates immediately, so that 
we were comparatively alone, though in passing through 
all the cloisters, at all the Colleges, wherever the car- 
riages could not go, and we had to walk, the loyalty 
was very loud in its expression, and the gowns were 
thrown down very thick at the Queen's feet, though it 
was rather service of danger even for her, to walk upon 
them, as they did not like the gentlemen that preceded 

* Professor Adam Sedgwick, Vice-Master of Trinity, 1 785-1873. 



62 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

her, nor us that followed her, to tread upon them, con- 
sequently threw them down so suddenly and pulled 
them up so quick as to be in some danger of tripping up 
her sacred feet ; as to us, we had many narrow escapes, 
both of tumbling down, and being crushed to death, 
but, fortunately we still survive to tell the tale. The 
Queen went home to rest at half-past twelve, having 
driven round the walks at the back of King's College 
and Clare Hall, which are very pretty, and visited 
King's Chapel again for a moment to have a better 
sight of it in broad daylight, and going into St. John's 
Hall and Chapel. It is certainly beautiful, and so 
high ; it makes one feel so very little. There was 
rather a fuss in the papers about their having put up 
her throne so that she hid the altar, and turned her 
back upon it ; this latter part I own I did not like — as 
to hiding it, it is the only ugly thing in the Chapel, 
with a frightfully modern " Deposizione " over it, 
so that was no loss. The Prince continued sight- 
seeing until two, and we, being at liberty, went to the 
top of King's Chapel, whence we had a beautiful view, 
and got a much more correct idea of the way the colleges 
lay together than we should ever have got by merely 
driving about ; two or three Masters and people took 
care of Lady Mt. E., and me and Mrs. Whewell came 
too, so we were very well ciceroned ; we afterwards 
went and visited the Hall of King's, which is new, 
and walked about till two, when we -partook of a 
good lunch, and were quite ready to attend the Queen 
at half-past two to Corpus Christi Chapel, Library, 
and Hall, all of which are well worth seeing. We then 
drove about, indulging the people with the sight of 
our faces, the carriage being open ; and they appre- 
ciated the faA'Our, for I never saw anything like the 



CAMBRIDGE 63 

crowds ; the escort of the Scots Greys could hardly 
keep them off the wheels of the carriages. I only 
wonder many more accidents did not happen ; but 
we went at a foot's pace, and I do not believe anything 
serious occurred. We went to an old round church, 
HOC years old, curious, but not pretty, and then came 
on here ; leaving Cambridge at half-past four, and 
arriving here a little before six. Our party is the 
Cannings, Williamsons,^ Normanbys, and Lord Cale- 
don ; ^ the Peels ^ were to have come, but he was obliged 
by business to be in town ; we are to have music 
to-night. 

WiMPOLE, Friday, Oct. 27th, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — . . . Our evening yesterday 
was formal, as Lady Williamson could not comc; so 
there was no music, for Lady Hardwicke* said she 
would not sing without her ; consequently we sat or 
stood, and the Queen made her little civil speeches 
to everybody ; there was the Duke of Rutland,^ who 
came from Newmarket for one night, and three 
brothers of Lord Hardwicke, with their wives ; two 
of them are clergymen ; one of them has the Rectory 
here, within a stone's throw of the house. I went this 
morning with Lady Canning to see the church, which 
is very pretty, with the monuments of many of the 
family in it. We also went to an artificial ruin, which 
is now used as a keeper's lodge, and which, being built 
so as to look pretty from the house, is a capital place 

1 Sir Hedworth Williamson, seventh Baronet, and his wife Anne, 
third daughter of Thomas, Lord Ravensworth. 

* James, third Earl of Caledon. 

* Sir Robert Peel and his wife, Julia, daughter of Sir John Floyd. 

* Susan, sixth daughter of Thomas, Lord Ravensworth, m. fourth 
Earl of Hardwicke. 

» John, fifth Duke of Rutland. 



64 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

for hoisting the royal flag during the Queen's stay here ; 
it accordingly waves gloriously from the top of the 
tower. Then we saw a wonderful cow that Lord 
Hardwicke hopes to get a prize for ; it is certainly 
very handsome, and I enjoyed going over the dairy and 
farm buildings with her, she is so very sweet and nice. 

. . . The Queen lunched with us all, and, after 
lunch, the children of the house were exhibited ; 
they are very nice, four boys and three girls, the eldest 
not more than ten years, and the youngest three months 
old. . . . This morning the Queen, having been 
told prayers were at nine, walked into the Chapel at 
that hour, as the clock was striking ; all the company, 
having no certain notice she was coming at all, and 
no idea she would walk straight into the Chapel with- 
out saying a word to anybody, was waiting in the draw- 
ing-room ; and you may imagine what a general rush 
there was, and how horrified poor Lady Hardwicke 
felt, to think that the Queen should have walked in 
and found nothing but the servants ; however, it 
did not signify ; she was very gracious, and only 
laughed ; indeed it was her own fault, for not giving 
notice of her intentions. She is gone out driving this 
afternoon. . . . We are to have a dance to-night. 

(Postscript) Poor Mr. O. Gore^ quarrelled with 
Brown about his collar-bone, saying he did not set 
it right, and Mr. Anson told me he never saw such a 
scene in his life, Mr. Gore swearing at him most 
furiously. Lord H. is very nice indeed, and appears 
to great advantage in his own home, and very kind 
to me. 

^ John Ormsby Gore, M.P,, created Baron Harlech in 1876, groom 
in waiting to Prince Consort, and equerry to Queen Victoria. 



CAMBRIDGE 65 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 

Edward Stanley 

WiMPOLE, Friday, Oct. 27th, 1843. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I have enjoyed my Cam- 
bridge trip immensely, but it is just one of those things 
that though I am delighted to have seen, I would not 
like to do over again, one is in such a battle, and the 
crowd is so dreadful, closing in upon us almost before we 
could get after the Queen, and, as most of the gentle- 
men were obliged to precede her, we had to take care 
of ourselves in passing through the courts, &c., where 
carriages cannot drive. We were fortunately with 
her and the Prince, otherwise I know not how we could 
ever have reached the other carriage, if we had had to 
make our way through the mob outside. . . . The 
students inside were sometimes difficult enough to 
keep back, and when it came to the common people 
in the streets, even the Scots Greys escort, making 
their horses prance in every direction, with their 
swords drawn, had great difficulty in keeping any sort 
of passage for her, though the crowd was very quiet 
and orderly, and cheered immensely. The gownsmen 
took it into their heads to show loyalty by throwing 
down their gowns on every occasion for the Queen to 
walk upon, but, as they did not like us to tread upon 
them, it was really a service of danger following her, 
tripping up every moment upon these. At the Senate 
House, where the Prince was to have the degree of 
D. of Laws conferred upon him, there were, as usual, 
when royalty are concerned, loads of mistakes ; the 
Queen and he came ten minutes sooner than was ex- 
pected, they having taken a punctual fit, so that there 
were no oaths ready, and the Vice-Chancellor adminis- 

s 



66 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

tered the oaths from memory, and of course forgot 
half and boggled the rest ; then there was no Bible, 
to swear upon ; and I do not know where they would 
have got one if Lord Arthur Hervey, who was standing 
by as a spectator, had not had a little Church Service 
in his pocket, which he produced, and it was accord- 
ingly made use of and kissed by the Prince and Mr. 
Phelps, Master of one of the colleges, who took his 
degree as D.D. at the same time. The hall and gal- 
leries were crowded to suffocation, but, as the windows 
were all open, it was not hot, and the Queen seemed 
to enjoy it all. 



Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. zgth, 1843. 

Dearest Papa, — We arrived here safely yesterday 
before five o'clock ; the Queen and Prince dined in their 
own rooms, so we saw nothing of them later than that, 
but in the evening the Queen sent me a message to 
say she wished me to stay here till Tuesday, and she 
hoped you would come on Monday and dine and sleep 
here, and take me away on Tuesday ; I therefore 
write this in hopes you may get it to-morrow morning 
before you leave Cliefden.-^ . . . What will you do 
about your dress ? It is rather a bore in some respects, 
but it is very civil of them, and there will be the Grand 
Duke, I believe, and a large party. . . . 

... I wrote to you on Friday from Wimpole, 
that you might get it as you desired, in London on 
Saturday, but, by excessive ill-luck, and stupidity too 
I must say, the guard of the mail gave the wrong bag, 
so that the letters we wrote did not go, and the letters 
we should have received returned to London ; the 

' Cliveden, formerly a seat of the Duke of Westminster, 



CAMBRIDGE (>-] 

Queen and all being in the same scrape ; so when or 
where you will get that letter I know not. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother., 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. zgth, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — ^We arrived here yesterday at 
five o'clock, having had a quick and prosperous journey, 
leaving Wimpole at twenty minutes past eleven ; and 
the Queen retired to her apartments immediately, and 
was seen no more that night, she and the Prince dining 
in private, which they are going to do again to-night. 
It is really rather hard upon us, as the present set are 
none of the brightest, and Lord Warwick, poor man, 
is laid up, having sprained both his legs somehow 
in the effort to keep on his horse, which reared with 
him on it, on Friday last, as he complains, " without 
giving him the slightest notice of its intentions." Did 
he expect the horse would say " Take care, I mean to 
rear " ? He did not tumble off after all, so altogether 
it is an odd affair, but certain it is he is laid up, and 
they are in a fuss about getting a Lord in Waiting for 
to-morrow when the Grand Duke comes, as Lord 
De La Warr has to attend the funeral of an old aunt, 
a Mrs. West, and therefore cannot come . . . The 
Queen has desired me to stay till Tuesday, and to tell 
Papa she wished him to dine and sleep here to-morrow 
night, so I have written to Clief den by the cross post, so 
that he may get the letter to-morrow morning, though 
I am half afraid he will have to go to London for his 
tights ; but it is very civil and kind of the Royalty . . . 
The ball was very stupid, and we were all rejoiced 
when the Queen thought she had done the civil by 



68 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

all the country neighbours, some of them most extra- 
ordinary figures, and retired at eleven, dancing having 
begun at half-past nine. I danced with Lord Caledon, 
a queer little man, and not attractive, and a Mr. St. 
Quentin, whom Lord Hardwicke introduced me to. 
Lord Caledon was in a great fright for fear the Queen 
should dance with him, which I told him she was sure 
to do, and, accordingly, she did dance the last quadrille 
with him ; he did not know the figures, and was dread- 
fully alarmed. On Saturday morning, before we came 
away. Lady Hardwicke sang two or three songs most 
beautifully ; her voice is not high, but so rich and true 
and so powerful, quite filling the room, which was large, 
with a sort of dome or cupola at one end. It is, how- 
ever, not so fine as Lady Williamson's, to my mind. 



CHAPTER VI 

LIFE AT COURT 

A glance at the past — Ladies of the Bedchamber — Maids of Honour — 
Strict rules of the Court of Charles I — The fascinating " Molly 
Lepell " — Queen Elizabeth's Maids — Domesticity at Court of 
George III — A new era — Country life at Windsor — Christmas 
presents — " It is all over, Duke " — More reels — The Prince's 
Highland fling — The Queen has an accident — The Duchess of 
Kent and the polka — Birth of Prince Alfred — The Royal children 
— The Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg — Death of Princess 
Sophia of Gloucester — Holiday on the Dee — " Ce petit monstre." 

In the history of Courts there has always been a good 
deal of grumbling amongst those who have taken part 
in the everyday life, as well as in the occasional fes- 
tivities and ceremonies, that make up the sum of 
existence. 

That there is a certain amount of monotony in 
life at Court goes without saying ; in all times there 
have been courtiers who would have agreed with the 
complaint of Lord Hervey when speaking of his experi- 
ences in that of George II : " No mill-horse ever went 
in a more constant track, or a more unchanging circle ; 
so that by the assistance of an almanack for the days 
of the week, and a watch for the hour of the day, you 
may inform yourself fully, without any other intelli- 
gence but your memory, of every transaction within 
the verge of the Court. Walking, chaises, levees, and 

audiences, fill the morning ; at night the King plays 

69 



70 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

at commerce and backgammon, the Queen at quadrille 
. . . and thus (to speak in Scriptural phrase) the 
evening and the morning make the day." 

In the Court of Queen Victoria, a quiet country 
life alternated with occasional State visits and great 
functions ; but the keynote M^as domestic happiness. 
The Queen loved an outdoor life, took immense interest 
in the improvements in the royal properties that were 
initiated by the Prince, was greatly taken up with her 
young children and was still amused with childish 
games at which one could win or lose at least eighteen - 
pence at a sitting. The duties of her ladies were light 
enough, especially if contrasted with those of earlier 
times. 

The Ladies of the Bedchamber used originally to 
attend the Queen when rising and going to bed. As 
late as the time of George II, the Countess of Suffolk 
tells us that the Woman of the Bedchamber handed 
the shift to the Lady of the Bedchamber, who passed 
it on to the Queen. From the same source we learn 
that the Page of the Back Stairs brought the ewer and 
basin for Her Majesty to wash her hands, while 
the Woman of the Bedchamber knelt by her ; the 
latter had the privilege of pulling on the Queen's gloves, 
but the Page of the Back Stairs put on her shoes. When 
the Queen dined in public, the Page handed the cup 
to the Woman of the Bedchamber, who gave it to 
the Lady of the Bedchamber to give to her Royal 
Mistress. 



LIFE AT COURT 71 

The Maids of Honour do not seem to have had 
any such service, but they had others, and were bound 
by certain rules which varied according to the country 
and the age. In feudal times maidens were sent to 
the households of the great nobles as well as to that 
of the King. They were educated as well as dowered 
by Anne of Brittany, wife of Charles VIII, who is 
supposed to have had the first regular establishment of 
f,lles d'honneur. In the annals of the French Court, 
the Maids of Honour obtained an unenviable notoriety; 
those of Catherine de Medici, the " flying squadron," 
who were used as her political tools, were specially un- 
desirable. Madame de Maintenon, who had been a 
Maid of Honour herself, abolished them when she came 
to power and replaced them by the dames de palais. 

In England, as in all other countries, the " Maids " 
attracted much attention, and sometimes became 
Queen Consorts, as in the case of Anne Boleyn of un- 
happy memory, or of Anne Hyde, the first wife of 
James II ; at other times they became the King's 
mistresses, as did Louise de la Querouaille and others. 
Their duties and their opportunities, of course, varied 
in each reign ; in that of Charles I the rules for regu- 
lating their conduct and for defining their duties were 
very concise. They were desired to " come into the 
Presence Chamber before eleven of the clock and to 
go to prayers, and after prayers to attend tmtil the 
Queen be set at dinner ; and again at two o'clock to 
return into the said chamber, and there to remain 



72 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

until supper time : and when they shall be retired 
into their chamber, they admit no man to come there, 
and that they go not, at any time, out of the Court 
without leave being asked of the Lord Chamberlain, 
Vice-Chamberlain, or Her Majesty. And that the 
Mother of the Maids see all these orders concerning 
the Maids duly observed, as she will answer to the 
contrary, and if she shall find any refractoriness in 
those that should obey, that she acquaint the Lord 
Chamberlain therewith." 

In the Court of George I we find much greater 
laxity. Pope relates in one of his most amusing letters, 
that he went to Hampton Court where he met beautiful 
Molly Lepell and Miss Bellenden, the Maids of Honour 
to the Princess of Wales, wandering about the gardens 
by moonlight. " We all agreed that the life of a Maid 
of Honour was of all things the most miserable, and 
wished that every woman who envied it had a specimen 
of it. To eat Westphalia ham in a morning ; ride 
over hedges and ditches on borrowed hacks ; come 
home in the heat of the day in a fever, and (what is 
worse a hundred times) with a red mark on the fore- 
head from an uneasy hat — all this may qualify them 
to make excellent wives for fox-hunters. As soon as 
they can wipe off the sweat of the day, they must 
simper an hour and catch cold in the Princess's apart- 
ments ; from thence (as Shakespeare has it) to dinner, 
with what appetite they may, and, after that, till mid- 
night, work, walk, or think, as they please. I can 



LIFE AT COURT 73 

easily believe no lone house in Wales, with a mountain 
and a rookery, is more contemplative than this Court ; 
as a proof of it, I need only tell you Miss Lepell v^^alked 
with me three or four hours by moonlight, and we met 
no creature of any quality but the King, who gave 
audience to the Vice-Chamberlain, all alone, under 
the garden wall." 

It is not possible even to take a bird's-eye view of 
the varying conditions of life at Court from the stand- 
point of a Maid of Honour, but it may be interesting 
to note a few facts concerning them. As early as the 
days of Edward I minute directions concerning their 
food were registered ; in 1775, when they applied for 
compensation on the grounds of being often out in 
the evening and not needing the supper provided, they 
received ^^70 a year increase in their allowance. As 
late as 1808, when there was no formal meal in the 
middle of the day, each lady had a chicken, a plate of 
fruit, and a jug of lemonade, known as " King's Cup/' 
brought to her rooms. In one of the Queen's conversa- 
tions with Lord Melbourne, held in the early days of 
her reign, he told her that Queen Elizabeth's Maids of 
Honour had only one room among them, separated from 
the gentlemen-in-waiting's room by a partition that did 
not reach to the ceiling. The ladies sent a petition to 
the Queen, complaining that the gentlemen used to look 
over the wall and praying her to have it built up. 

The scene changes, and the people pass away, 
but the life has always a certain sameness. George II 



74 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

held his Court in the evening, and anyone who was 
well dressed might attend and watch the Royal Family 
play cards ; George III and his Queen hated " the 
manners of the time and all our fashionable crimes," 
and drawing-rooms were held twice a week and State 
balls twice a year. In the Queen's private apart- 
ments we are introduced by Miss Burney into a scene 
of cultivated domesticity. Her Majesty was knot- 
ting, the Princess Royal drawing, Princess Augusta 
spinning, and Lady Courtown busy with some work, 
when the author of Evelina read a comedy, " Polly 
Honeycomb," straight through, without even pausing 
between the acts and without hearing the sound of 
a voice save her own. " It went off pretty flat," was 
her comment. George IV held his State in the morn- 
ing, but it was not until 1815 that a new arrangement 
was made. The Royal Family then began to stand 
in a small room and those who attended the Court 
were expected to pass on after a few words had been 
spoken. This was the beginning of a new era. 

The following letters are occupied with the events, 
great and small, that made up the sum of Miss 
Stanley's life at Windsor during the winter 1843-4. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Dec. 21st, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — . . . Here I am again 
settled for a month ; the Queen was very sweet, and 



LIFE AT COURT 75 

asked an immense deal about Oisy and the children 
and the measles, and was very compassionate and 
charming, so that 1 think her a duck. . . . Lady 
Douro^ is so nice too ... we had an hour's confab, 
alone. By the by, we go into slight mourning for 
ten days on Tuesday next for the ex-King of Holland,^ 
so I ordered a black velvet bonnet trimmed with 
cerise and fensie roses, which I saw at Elise's and 
thought very pretty. ... I hear the Court go to 
Claremont the first week in January. . . . The pre- 
sent set here are very nice. Col. Hood^ and Lord 
Rivers,* General Wemyss,^ but he goes to-morrow. . . . 
Col. Arbuthnot* comes instead. The private chapel 
was consecrated last week, so they have prayers there 
now, a great improvement on the dining-room, where 
they used to be. 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Dec. 2yd, 1843. 

My dearest Mama, — We are just come from 
having spent one evening playing at commerce with 
the gentlemen, as the Queen and Prince dined by 
themselves ; and we were so dissipated that we did 
not separate till half-past eleven ; quite a case of 
" When the cat's away the mice play." I have been 
playing some duets with Lady Douro, which I enjoy 
very much. 

* Lady Elizabeth Hay, V. and A., daughter of George, eighth 
Marquis of Tweeddale, w. Arthur,Marquis of Douro, elder son of Arthur, 
first Duke of Wellington. She was Woman of the Bedchamber to 
Queen Victoria, 1843-58, and Mistress of the Robes, i86i-68. 

* William I, abdicated 1840, died 12th December 1843. 

' Col. Hon. A. Nelson Hood, afterwards Lord Bridport, equerry 
to Queen Victoria. 

* George, fourth Baron Rivers, equerry to Queen Victoria, 
' Lt.-General Wemyss, equerry to Queen Victoria. 

* Colonel C. G. T. Arbuthnot, equerry to Queen Victoria, 



76 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

This afternoon we had a charming drive ; the 
Queen and Prince in their pony phaeton, followed by 
Lady Douro and me, Lady D. driving the Queen's 
little Shetland ponies in that darling little carriage we 
saw last year. . . . We went to the kitchen garden, 
and got out and walked about everywhere, and the 
Prince did the honours of it all to Ladv Douro, and 
even tried to make her follow his example in eating 
a raw mushroom, out of the new mushroom house, 
which he said had an uncommonly fine flavour, but 
she was unpersuadable on that point. The little 
Shetlands went beautifully, but had great difficulty in 
keeping up with the other and larger ponies, and at 
last they were so tired they fairly came to a standstill 
at a little hill in one of the grass drives, so that we 
whipped in vain, and were obliged to make one of the 
grooms lead them up to the top ; after that we got 
on very well, and came home in time for us to go to 
the Chapel. Lady Rivers is coming on Tuesday for a 
week ; General Wemyss is still here ; as old Mr. Arbuth- 
not is so ill, Col. Arbuthnot could not leave him to 
come into waiting. ... I hear Mr. Ormesby Gore's 
marriage to a Miss Tyrrel,^ third daughter of a Sir 
Something Tyrrel, and very handsome, is announced. 
They say that when he proposed to her their acquaint- 
ance had only been of twelve hours date, but I think 
this must be an invention. 

. . . (Sunday.) We are just come in, having been 
to the Chapel, after walking in the slopes with the 
Queen ; on coming home we were desired to wait 
in the gallery, where she presently came to us and 
presented us with our Christmas gifts ; Lady Douro's 

* Sarah, youngest daughter of Sir John Tyssen T3n:el. 



LIFE AT COURT 77 

is the usual Lady in Waiting's bracelet, with her 
picture, and Miss Hamilton's and mine are of 
enamel, with a little buckle of pearls, by way of 
clasp, very pretty, and it was so nice of her to give 
them herself instead of sending them by a dresser. 

(Christinas Day) . . . A merry Christmas and many 
happy returns of the day to you, dearest Mammy, and 
Oisy and all at Dartrey, and God grant that this may 
find you all happier and more at ease about the poor 
baby. How I wish I was with you ! It is the first 
Christmas Day away from you, and we are all sadly 
dispersed. 

. . . All the world got Royal Christmas gifts 
yesterday, studs, hunting-whips, pins, pencil-cases, 
and bracelets ; they were all very pretty, and the 
Equerries got two apiece, one from the Queen and 
one from the Prince. 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Dec. 27th, 1843. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Duke of Wellington 
and Lady Rivers ^ are here ; and yesterday evening we 
had a curious piece of music executed by the Queen's 
hand, to imitate the various sounds of penny trumpets, 
rattles, drums, and all sorts of toys, supposed to be 
Christmas gifts to the children of the family ; it was 
composed by Haydn for the Esterhazy children. We 
were all much amused by it ; but still more, when it was 
all over and we got up to go away, and the Duke, who 
was sitting by the Duchess of Kent, remained seated 
on his chair, fast asleep, and poor Lady Douro was de- 
sired to wake him, which she was very shy of doing 
before so many people, but could not help herself, so 

* Lady Susan Leveson Gower, eldest daughter of Granville, first 
Earl Granville, m. George, fourth Baron Rivers. 



78 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

she did it with the assistance of the Duchess of Kent, 
who kept repeating in a gentle voice, " It is all over, 
Duke." . . . The Royalty go next week to Claremont 
from Tuesday to Saturday, and we go where we like ; 
I am then going to offer myself to the Longs ^ if they 
can take me, for that time. If they cannot, we may 
stay here under Lady Lyttelton's care, who remains 
here to take charge of the Prince of Wales and Princess 
Alice. ... I am expecting to be sent for to sing with 
the Queen this afternoon, as she told Lady Douro this 
morning she was going to send me a duet to practise 
the second of, to sing with her. I play a great deal 
with Lady Douro. 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Dec. 28th, 1843, 

Dearest Mama, — We had a most charming even- 
ing of dancing yesterday, two country dances and a 
galop, which we all enjoyed excessively ; there were 
very few people, no extras but Miss Lyttelton, Mrs. 
Anson and Lady Rivers, but we all danced, and even 
the Duchess of Kent tripped it on the light fantastic 
toe with great spirit with Lord Rivers. I have nothing 
the whole day but play and sing ; I have so much to 
do, what between my duets with Bessie and a wad of 
singing stuff the Queen sent me to practise for sing- 
ing with them, I really have not been able to spare 
half an hour to copy a pretty little French song 
Lord Rivers lent me, and am going to do it after 
this though it is past seven. . . . The Queen stays 
a week at Claremont ; if so, I daresay the Longs will 
let me stay on there ; I did not know when I 
wrote they meant to stay so long ; but they say 

1 Lt.-Col. Long, of Bromley Hill, and his second wife, Sydney, 
daughter of Arthur Atherley, Esq., M.P. for Southampton. 



LIFE AT COURT 79 

there is just a week's shooting and the Prince 
means to make the best of it. 

On December 29th she writes : 

We had great fun yesterday evening before the 
gentlemen came in, teaching the Queen the reel of 
TuUoch, to the music of youT favourites the bagpipes. 
The Queen danced and skipped gloriously. 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Jan. 3rd, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — ... You will be pleased to 
hear that last night, at the Duchess of Kent's where we 
dined, I was desired to play in the evening, which I 
did, my short crash, on the Lucia ; and afterwards on 
the Queen saying she supposed I despised waltzes, 
playing so well, I at her desire played a set, the Aben- 
deure, so she was most kind and civil. I sat next 
the Prince at dinner too, which was an event ; he took 
in the Duchess of Kent, and consequently sat opposite 
the Queen ; he was very gracious and most agreeable, 
and full of fun. He said they saw thirty woodcocks 
during their shooting in the morning, and he himself 
fired at ten, and only killed one, the only one they got ; 
and even that was disputed, as the whole of the eight 
gentlemen fired at it, and it did not seem clear that 
all the eight did not hit it. I hope not, if we are to eat 
it, for eight charges of shot is rather too much for one 
woodcock. Turner was horrified at the bad shooting 
of all the party, as he confided to Lord Anson.^ . . . 
I was sent for to sing yesterday at half-past five and 
staid till past seven. I really have enjoyed this waiting 
seeing so much of the Royal couple, and little Princess 

* Thomas, Viscount Anson, eldest son of first Earl of Lichfield, 
1825-1892. 



8o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Royal is always there, and yesterday she made great 
acquaintance with me, and was very curious to know 
why I had only ! ! three flounces on my lilac gown. I 
said I thought it was quite enough, in which opinion 
the Queen, who was standing by much amused, quite 
agreed. She is really a sweet child, and very good, 
though, like all intelligent children, beginning to ask 
endless questions. She asked my name, and said 
" Eleanor " very prettily. 

(Postscri-pt) It is awfully cold, the thermometer 
down at i6, but beautifully clear and bright. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Jan. ^th, 1844. 

Dearest Papa, — We are just come in from a charm- 
ing drive through all our old haunts. Sawyer's Lodge 
and Sandpit Gate and all that part of the park. . . . 
Lady Douro and I went out in the Shetland pony 
carriage and followed the Queen and Prince as long as 
we could keep up. . . . The Queen has just sent up 
to know where we drove to, and whether we had left 
no fragments, arms or legs, &c., behind us. Is it not 
amiable of her ? . . . We had a playing of duets, 
Bessie and I, and her and the Prince, again yesterday, 
ending with a grand Symphony by the Prince and me. 
To-day she is to go alone as the Queen wants no 
spectators the first time of playing with the harp. . . . 
We are quite alone ; and how do you think we amused 
ourselves all the evening yesterday ? The Prince 
learnt a Highland fling of Col. Murray, and Lady 
Douro taught the Queen the Strathspey step ; and as 
the piper was gone from home before they thought of 



LIFE AT COURT 8i 

dancing, I offered my services to play, and strummed 
away reels till half-past ten. We then played at patience 
till eleven, a great event here, as half-past ten is the 
regular hour, and then retired, the Prince saying his legs 
ached with the Fling. My fingers had also had hard 
exercise so I was not sorry when it was over ; though 
I like anything that makes one feel useful. 



7he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Jan. 5th, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We had a great reel prac- 
tising yesterday evening, with the piper, so that I was 
not put in requisition. They take up the steps very 
well, only unfortunately Col. Murray teaches them 
all out of time, having no ear. The Prince is very 
proud of his Highland Fling, which is really wonderful 
considering he has only had two lessons. . . . Bessie ^ 
said this morning she must write to Lady Tweeddale,^ 
who was very anxious to hear how her first waiting 
went off, and asked me in fun if I would not write 
instead of her ? I said I would write a note as well 
as her, but really Bessie has been so kind to me, and so 
approved of by everybody, all the gentlemen, from the 
Prince downwards, having lost their hearts to her, 
that I thought I might just as well tell Lady T. so, 
as at that distance she might like to hear all about her 
children. She is out driving with the Queen after 
the harriers, which H.M. is very fond of doing, 
though her ladies in general vote it stupid work. 

1 Lady Douro. 

* Lady Susan Montagu, third daughter of William, fifth Duke of 
Manchester, m. George, eighth Marquis of Tweeddale. 

F 



82 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Jan. 6th, 1844, 

My dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen had a 
tremendous accident yesterday, while following the 
harriers in a pony carriage with Bessie ; in turning a 
sharp corner, the near pony got too close to a ditch, 
the earth on the edge gave way under his feet, and he 
fell in, dragging the other pony and the carriage after 
him. The postilion fell under both ponies and was 
severely hurt, but not dangerously. The Queen, who 
was kept in by the apron being up, and with difficulty 
unfastened, was at last pulled out head foremost by 
Col. Arbuthnot and the grooms, all the others being 
with the Prince and the hounds at the time ; and 
Bessie scrambled out after her as best she might ; and 
they walked on, being neither of them fortunately the 
least hurt, till they came to a miserable sort of half 
dog-cart half pony-carriage, belonging to a farmer ; 
the farmer's wife, who was in it, of course offered it ; 
and they got in. Col. A. drove, and the Queen and 
Bessie sat as best they might in the back seat, which 
was never intended to hold more than one person, and 
in this equipage they proceeded for some miles, to the 
great astonishment of all who met them, particularly 
of the toll woman on Datchett Bridge, who came out 
expecting to get her regular toll, and held up her hands 
in horror and astonishment at seeing the Queen there. 
They soon after that met a Royal carriage that had 
been sent to meet them, in which they returned to 
the Castle. The Prince was in a great state when he 
heard of the accident, and joined her immediately, 
and rode home by her. Lady Douro says she never 
saw a man in such a state of anxiety, and she was so 
sweet about it, laughing it off as much as she could. 



LIFE AT COURT 83 

They wished very much to keep it secret, but this was 
impossible. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Aug. 2nd, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — The Queen is in perfect health 
still ... we saw her this morning after prayers. . . . 
The Countess Josephine Wratislaw we have not seen 
yet, but I hear her chief perfection is the Polking, 
which she is a great hand at, and practises all day 
with the Duchess of Kent. I am very glad I am not 
Lady in Waiting to the Duchess, as it seems this is 
one of the requisite accomplishments for that situa- 
tion, and consequently Lady Anna Maria Dawson 
was obliged to learn it, and used to be found polking 
at all hours of the day alone in her room. They were 
in a great state of excitement yesterday about the 
King of Prussia ^ being shot at ; the Queen I believe 
was with him and behaved beautifully, but nobody 
was hurt. . . . 



Windsor Castle, Monday, Aug. 5th, 1844. 
Dearest Mama, — Nothing has happened yet, and 
the Queen was out driving as usual this morning in 
her pony carriage, the three doctors watching her out 
as usual, for they generally try to get a look at her as 
she goes in and out, as that is their only chance of 
seeing her, for she will not have regular visits from 
any of them. . . . The Queen has just sent word 
there are no orders for us, and she has not made up 
her mind whether she will dine in private or join the 
circle at dinner. . . . 

» Frederick William IV, 1 795-1 861, and his wife, Elizabeth, 
daughter of the King of Bavaria. 



84 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



Windsor Castle, 
Tuesday Morning, Aug. 6th, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — ^They are firing away at no allow- 
ance for the great event, which happened half an hour 
ago, the birth of a Prince.^ . . . Lady Lyttelton has 
just informed Lady Dunmore ^ that we were all to 
appear in colours ; she is in the same scrape as me, 
having nothing here but black. ... 



Windsor Castle, 
Tuesday Evening, Aug. 6th, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — Many thanks for my cup and 
ball and all my things, which I got just now, and in- 
stantly dressed myself in colours ; Lady Dunmore's 
also came by the same train, so we went all of us as 
soon as our toilettes were completed down to the 
Gallery and sent a petition to the Prince to be allowed 
to see the creature. He immediately came out, and 
after shaking hands with us and being wished joy, he 
took us into a room, and went to call Mrs. Drisco and 
the child ; he seemed very happy, and showed us its 
little fat hands and dark hair, of which it has a good 
deal, but its eyes are light, like the others. It is a 
dear, fat, healthy-looking thing, with a reddish satis- 
factory sort of skin, not the least yellow or nasty- 
looking, and the Prince says its lungs are excellent, as 
proved by its roaring lustily. It is rather a large 
child, much the biggest she has ever had. It had on 
a pretty little month gown and cap, with a worked 
crown and cambric frills edged with lace, and evidently 

^ The second son of the Queen, born August 6, 1844. 
* Lady Catherine Herbert, daughter of George, eleventh Earl of 
Pembrol-e, m. Alexander, sixth Earl of Dunmore. 



LIFE AT COURT 85 

washed often already for the others ; it also had a 
purple mantle trimmed with ermine round it. . . . 
She was not very well yesterday . . . she signed 
quantities of papers ... at six they summoned the 
ministers, who none of them were in time, which, by 
her delaying so long sending for them, was I suppose ex- 
actly what she intended, though without openly saying 
it. There were three special trains with them, five 
in the first, Lords Jersey ^ and De la Warr, Sir Robert, 
the Chancellor,^ and the Duke of Buccleuch,' two 
in the second. Lord Stanley and Sir J. Graham,* and 
the Duke of Wellington had another all to himself a 
little later on. The first batch arrived half an hour 
too late and the others just an hour. They all break- 
fasted with us, and went away immediately after, be- 
cause, as Lord Stanley said, " Special " was pufhng 
away waiting to take them back and he must not get 
blown. . . . The King of the French does not come 
till the beginning of October, so the royalty will be 
away till then. We are all curious to know what the 
child will be christened ; as to his title I believe there 
is no question of that till he is of age. 

The year 1844 was remarkable for the number of 
foreign Royalties who visited Windsor, the Tsar of 
Russia,* the King of Saxony,® the Kmg of the French 
and the Prince of Prussia ' being the most important. 

* George, fifth Earl of Jersey, Master of the Horse, 1773-1859. 
« Lord Lyndhurst. 

• Walter, fifth Duke of Buccleuch, A.D.C. to Queen Victoria, 1806- 
X884. 

* Right Hon. Sir James Graham, Bart., Home Secretary, 1841-1846. 
' Tsar Nicholas I, 1796-185 5. 

• Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony, 1797-1854. 

' Frederick William, Prince of Prussia, afterwards Emperor 
William I, 1 797-1 888. 



86 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

In November the Duke of Saxe Coburg, the Prince 
Consort's brother, was staying with his wife^ at the 
Castle. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Nov. 22nd, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — All is so exactly here as we left 
it three months ago that I could almost fancy we had 
never been away, not a chair displaced or alteration of 
any kind. The Queen was very sweet and asked after 
you and Ois and the chicks. . . . They really looked 
so nice coming in to dinner last night, she and the 
Prince each holding a hand of Princess Royal, who in 
honor of her birthday was allowed to stand by her 
Mama's chair till the first course was over, when Lady 
Lyttelton, who was dining with us, took her out of the 
room to her nurse, and came back to her place. The 
Queen is in great good looks, and so is the Duchess of 
Kent and the Duchess of Saxe Coburg, but the Duke 
is not well, they say, and he certainly looks dreadfully 
ill, and our Prince is I think grown fat ; he however 
shook hands with us very civilly at meeting, and seemed 
in great spirits at being with his brother. The 
Duchess told Lady Douro she had been at Ems in 
hopes of that producing a son and heir, but it had 
had no such effect as yet ; we were rather amused 
at her saying it so simply, but she seems a very 
nice person and very pretty. . . . Lord Aberdeen 
is here and gives an awful account of the fog 
in London last night ; he came down very late and 
was two hours in getting from Downing Street to 
the terminus. . . . 

^ Duke Ernest II of Saxe-Coburg, 181 8-1 893, and his wife Alex- 
andrine, daughter of Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. 



LIFE AT COURT 87 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Nov. 24th, 1844. 

Dearest Pap, — . . . We have nasty foggy weather 
still, not very cold, but raw and damp, so the Queen 
did not go out this afternoon, but summoned us all 
into the corridor after lunch, to see the three eldest 
royal brats, who are nice little things but very very zvee, 
particularly Princess Alice ; the Prince of Wales is 
much the prettiest at present, with nice curly hair and 
blue eyes, but he is small of his age. Princess Royal 
is very much grown, but not grown pretty ; they look 
very nice, though, all together, and the Royal parents 
seemed very fond of them and the Duchess of Coburg 
rather jealous of them. . . . We are not a very bril- 
liant party ; I think it is owing to the foreigners who are 
with the Coburgs, who do not understand a word of 
English, and therefore are thrown out of the conversa- 
tion completely unless somebody devotes themselves 
to them. . . . The last new round game is " Hammer 
and Bell " played with dice, and Lord Aberdeen looked 
very killing with the dice-box in his hand, not knowing 
what to do ; I don't believe he ever held one before. 
There is to be an investiture of the Bath on Tuesday, 
and of the Garter on the 12th of December, but this 
only concerns the Lady in Waiting, as we do not 
appear at it. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I sat with the Queen yes- 
terday morning for an hour and a half, while she was 
sitting to Thorburn,^ who has already had thirty 

* Robert Thorburn, miniature painter, 1818-1885. 



88 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

sittings, and still asked for more, to her great horror ; 
she was very sweet, and I played great part of the time, 
all sorts of Dohlers and Thalbergs, which I am sure 
Mama will be pleased to hear. In the afternoon there 
was a chapter and investiture of the Bath, and all the 
" Baths," new and old, stayed to dinner, but there 
were no ladies invited. On the 12th we shall have a 
tremendous party for the Garter investiture, the four 
new Knights and their families, and the Beauforts,^ 
Richmonds,^ Buckinghams,^ and ever so many more. 
The Jersey and De La Warr ladies are not asked yet ; 
I am very curious to know if they will be ; the gentle- 
men are summoned long ago, of course. The Lans- 
downes * and the Sutherlands ^ have, I hear, sent 
excuses. 

... I have been all over the Round Tower, inside 
and out, to-day with Mdme. Wangenheim, to lionize 
her over it ; it was a beautiful day, though a little hazy 
in the far distance ; however, I showed her a heavy 
cloud which was " la fumee de Londres," and desired 
her to see a dome in the middle of it, St. Paul's ; it 
certainly only existed in our imagination, but she was 
convinced she saw it, so it did just as well. 

Bessie, in return for your message, hopes "your 
shadow may never be less " ; she is as popular as ever 

* Henry, seventh Duke of Beaufort, and his second wife Emily, 
daughter of Charles Culling Smith, Esq., and the Lady Anne Wellesley. 

* Charles, fifth Duke of Richmond, and his wife. Lady Caroline 
Paget, eldest daughter of Henry, first Marquis of Anglesea. 

» Richard Plantagenet, second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, 
and his wife. Lady Mary Campbell, youngest daughter of John, second 
Marquis of Breadalbane. 

* Henry, third Marquis of Lansdowne, and his wife. Lady Louisa 
Fox-Strangeways, fifth daughter of Henry, second Earl of Ilchester. 

" George, second Duke of Sutherland, and his wife. Lady Harriet 
Howard (V.A.), Mistress of the Robes, third daughter of George, sixth 
Earl of Carlisle. , 



LIFE AT COURT 89 

here, and looking very handsome, but very thin, and 
in waiting on Duchess of Coburg. C. Murray is 
arrived, but too lame to appear ; I am very sorry for 
him, for he has been laid up a long time, and we miss 
him very much. 

I am so glad you are both so enchanted with the 
Castle ; I cannot tell you how I am dying to see it 
and be with you ; and dear Granny too. What a 
happiness to us that she is so well ! 

(Postscript) I have actually been obliged to buy 
five shillings worth of stamps ; how very barbarous ! 
I think I shall send you in the bill. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Nov. 2gth, 1844. 

. . . Winterhalter ^ is here, painting a large picture 
of the Queen, with all her children, meeting Louis 
Philippe here, with quantities of people standing 
round, all portraits. It is little advanced yet, but I 
think the composition good ; the likenesses one cannot 
judge of yet. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Dec. 2nd, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — You will have heard, I suppose, 
long before this of the Princess Sophia Matilda of 
Gloucester's death; she had, it seems, been suffering a 
fortnight, but there was no apprehension of immediate 
danger, and she died rather suddenly at last. The 
Queen and Royalty in consequence dined in private 
on Friday, but found it so dull, thinking themselves 
obliged all to wear long faces and neither to indulge 

* Francis Xavier Winterhalter, 1806. 



90 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

in music nor cards; but as the Wiirtemberg man 
expressed it, " nous avons regarde les albums, oui, 
les albums " the whole evening, but they joined us 
again on Saturday, and, except that all the blinds are 
ordered to be kept half-down, all goes on as usual. 
This, it seems, is a thing the Queen is rather fond of 
ordering ; when the Duchess of Saxe Coburg died, all 
the windows were shut, with only a chink to admit 
light, and the poor Duchess of Kent, who detests 
darkness, but thought it right to humour the Queen, 
did not know what to do, and at last hit upon the 
expedient of keeping a looker-out to give notice when- 
ever the Queen was coming towards Frogmore, which 
was the signal for a general rush to shut blinds and 
shutters all over the house. . . . The funeral is to be 
here at eight in the evening, on Tuesday the loth, 
and the Royal party go to Claremont on Monday for 
two or three days to avoid it. They think the Garter 
investiture will be put off a few days, as it comes rather 
too close upon the funeral as at present fixed. I re- 
joice to hear the Claremont visit is to be a very short 
one. Bessy told me yesterday the Duke and Lord 
Charles seemed to think it probable the Queen would 
go to Strathfieldsaye soon, but it will, of course, not 
be in our waiting now. 

It is a great shame of the old man ^ not writing 
oftener ; I told him of your message the day he was 
here, but he did not look conscience-struck, and only 
put a stamp into his pocket, saying he could use it 
next day. . . . My drawings are all come, and I am 
charmed with them and going to show them to Lord 
C. Wellesley this evening in Bessy's room. He asked 
me the first day he came if I had been drawing, and if I 

* Edward Stanley, at that time at Eton. 



LIFE AT COURT 91 

could let him see and criticise, and I put him off till 
they arrived, which was yesterday, to my great de- 
light. Lord Liverpool lives under me, and I hear 
nothing all the afternoon but his practising on his big 
fiddle ; it gives me a great desire to go down and play 
duets with him, more especially as he tells me he has 
whole books of duets for violoncello and piano that he 
plays with his daughters ; but I am afraid the Queen 
would not think it " strictly proper." 



Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Dec. ^rd, 1844. 

Dearest Papa, — Ed is here, and we are going down 
to lunch in a few minutes. . . . Ed is in great force ; 
he is going after lunch to see C. Murray, and after- 
wards to pay Drs. Hawtrey and Evans a visit on his 
way back. We have walked to the Statue at the top 
of the Long Walk and back together, and I enjoyed it 
very much. 

. . . The Queen goes to Claremont on Saturday, 
to avoid the funeral, and we remain here in Lady 
Lyttelton's charge. The investiture is to be on 
Thursday, 12th, as was originally fixed, but it is to be 
quite private, and no extra ladies are to be invited. 
We are all to appear in trains and feathers ; I am 
enchanted, as it is really a sight worth seeing, besides 
which, so few ladies ever have a chance of seeing it, 
the Queen generally taking only a Lady in Waiting. 
As the wives, &c., of the Knights are not to come, 
there will be no banquet in St. George's Hall ; this, I 
am also rejoiced at, as I have seen one once, and I 
think those enormous parties are very tiresome. Give 
my love to Mamma, and tell her how glad I am to hear 
she is getting strong and saucy again. . . . 



92 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Dec. gth, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — You have no idea how pleas- 
antly these two days have passed, though the Queen is 
away ; Lady Lyttelton is very kind ; she and we, and 
all the gentlemen left here, breakfast and lunch to- 
gether, and at dinner Caroline Lyttelton joins us too. 
The weather is something too bitter ; there is a slight 
sprinkling of snow this morning, but the frost has been 
so hard for some days that they are skating in the 
Green Park and the Regent's Park. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Dec. i$th, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — We were all present at the in- 
vestiture yesterday, and it was certainly a most 
interesting sight, and rather impressive. The Duke 
of Saxe Coburg, being an extra knight, was the first 
invested, and sat down in the arm-chair on her right, 
but not at the table, where all the knights were 
seated, and there he stayed while the others were 
undergoing the operation. The Queen did it very 
well, as she does all these things, and "tied round 
their leg, for their renown, this most noble Garter," 
with great talent, or, as the newspapers abroad 
said of the French admiral when he received her 
on board the ship, " avec une grace parfaite " ; do 
you remember how we laughed at Frankfurt at the 
idea of his " grace parfaite " ? We stood at the 
opposite end of the Garter or Throne Room, from 
where the Queen was — near the door, with the 
Duchess of Saxe Coburg. Bessy stood behind the 
Queen, and looked very handsome, and so did her 
diamonds, the whole of which she wore, as the Queen 
sent her word she could not be too smart. The 



LIFE AT COURT 93 

Duke is here ; and, by the by, the Strathfieldsaye 
visit is not to be till the 20th of January, when Bessy 
will again be in waiting. I begin to feel my time away 
from you will now soon be over, and, though my 
waiting has been very pleasant, I shall be happy to be 
with you all. I cannot tell you how I long to see the 
Castle in its new form, and dearest Granny too, and 
Uncle, though last not least. ... I hear that the Life 
and Remains of Dr. Arnold, the late Master of Rugby ,^ 
are very good and very interesting ; may I try and 
get them from Mitchell as I go through ? — or do you 
not subscribe ? . . . 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Dec. i6th, 1844. 

Dearest Mama, — I am sitting with my window 
open and feel rather hot. I have no doubt the thaw 
was much accelerated by the Royal couple announcing 
they had fixed to-day for their first trial of their 
sledge, which you know always has the effect of dis- 
pelling the snow. Yesterday, as the pond at Frog- 
more was still frozen enough to bear skating upon, 
though in some parts the water was six inches deep 
over the ice, we all went with the Royalty to enjoy the 
pleasing diversion of standing at the edge, on the wet 
grass, looking at the gentlemen skating and playing 
at Hockey ; I don't know whether it is right spelt, but 
it is a game played with a ball and crooked sticks ; 
after this had lasted a good while, and it was too dark to 
go on playing, we all walked home through the grounds 
of the Castle, having first partaken of the Duchess of 
Kent's hospitality in the shape of mulled claret and 
biscuits. The Saxe Coburgs and Wiirtembergs go 
to-morrow ; she caught cold on Saturday looking at 

» The Rev. Thomas Arnold, D.D., Master of Rugby, 1 795-1 842. 



94 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the fat beasts, and was in bed all yesterday, not even 
appearing at dinner ; they start, however, to-morrow 
at eleven, go to London, thence to Dover, embark 
there on board the Black Eagle, at five, the tide 
serving at that hour, and run over to Ostend, all the 
same day. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Dec. i8th, 1844. 

Dearest Papa, — This is my last day. . . . The 
Coburgs departed yesterday morning, and were to 
cross from Dover to Ostend the same day ; Captain 
Seymour, who attended them as far as Dover and 
put them on board the Black Eagle in safety, returned 
to Windsor late in the evening, and reported that the 
sea was calm and promised well for their passage. 
She was very sweet at parting, and kissed us all round ; 
she looked very delicate, as white as a sheet, and more 
fit to be in her bed than undertaking a long journey. 
The parting of the Royalty was not so sorrowful as 
I expected ; plenty of kissing, but no tears ; and 
scandal even whispers that Ernest, in spite of all his 
love for his dear brother Albert, found his sejour at 
Windsor " un peu ennuyeux," and therefore did not 
break his heart at going. They are in dreadful dis- 
tress at having no family ; and should they have none, 
as Mdme. de Wangenheim expressed it, " c'est ce 
petit monstre que vous entendez crier a fendre la 
tete qui heritera," thereby designating Prince Alfred, 
who was certainly at that moment roaring lustily and 
proving at least that his lungs were sound. 



CHAPTER VII 

WINDSOR 

Purchase of Osborne House — The Queen and English artists — Ste- 
phanie de Beauhamais — Prince Charles — A " manage de conve- 
nance " — Impatient surveyors — Prevalence of gout — Dining 
with the lawyers at Lincoln's Inn — " My name is John " — The 
Prince Consort's wish — Woods and forests — The second Free Trade 
budget — The Prince of Wales' birthday — The Queen's Schools — 
Every Man in his Humour. 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Mar. 20th, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — Here we are comfortably settled, 
and everything really looking lovely ; the sky clear 
and soft, the sun bright, and the old Castle and Round 
Tower beautiful, as usual. . . . The Queen is quite 
well again, but dines in private to-day and to-morrow, 
as she receives the Sacrament to-morrow alone, and 
we all do on Sunday. Yesterday she dined with us 
all, and the Duchess of Kent too, to whom her Royal 
daughter paid a dutiful visit the moment after she 
arrived, ordering a pony carriage instantly to go to 
Frogmore. The Duchess is looking very well and 
inquired kindly after you and Ois. We sat at the 
Queen's table both yesterday and the day before, and 
played on Tuesday at " L'os qui court," and on 
Wednesday at rabouza, which was very nice, as it was 
a long while since we had " joined the Royal circle " 
at cards. . . . 

Windsor Castle, 
Good Friday, Mar. 21st, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — I have been thinking of you all 

day and am rather triste as well as you in consequence, 

95 



96 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

though Lady Canning is all that is charming and we 
are always a good deal together. This morning after 
breakfast she and I went into a great many of the 
unoccupied bedrooms, to see some portraits, &c., they 
have recently brought from the lumber rooms at 
Hampton Court, to which William IV, who hated 
pictures, had condemned them, and some of them are 
really beautiful, by Sir J. Reynolds and Lawrence, in 
particular one by the latter, a full length, the size of 
life, of the Queen Caroline, when Princess of Wales, 
and Princess Charlotte, about eight years old, by her ; 
the Queen is just what Lord Malmesbury describes 
her, stoutish, but good-looking, plump and rosy, and 
it is a splendid picture. It is quite true about Lady 
Glenlyon^ calling the Pretender, Prince Charles, and 
Lady C. says she thought it very pretty of the Queen, 
who took the hint at once, and never called him any- 
thing but Prince Charles all through her visit after- 
wards. There is to be a drawing-room on the loth of 
April, the day I come out of waiting ; this is a great 
bore. I shall have to dress at the Palace, go to St. 
James's with the Queen, and come home to you from 
thence, the new " Maids " going back with their royal 
mistress. I think I shall have a pink glac^ tail and those 
apple blossoms we saw, but I have plenty of time to 
think about it. When we were out just now. Lady C. 
and I met Princess Royal in her little carriage, drawn 
by a footman, and Lady Lyttelton trudging on foot 
by her side. 

^ Lady Emily Percy, second daughter of Henry, second Duke of 
Northumberland, m. Lord James Murray, second son of John, fourth 
Duke of AthoU ; he was created Baron Glenlyon 1821, and was a lord 
in waiting to Queen Victoria. 



WINDSOR 97 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, 
Easter Sunday , March 2yd, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — Yesterday afternoon was very wet ; 
the Royal children could not go out in consequence, 
and as I was coming along the gallery, having been 
caught in the rain on the terrace, I found Princess 
Royal and Prince of Wales playing in the corridor, 
and joined them in a game of romps ; I hope you 
duly appreciate the honour and happiness I enjoyed 
in so doing. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, March 2/\th, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — This really is a heavenly day, and 
I have been out basking in the sun till I was nearly 
melted, and am now sitting with my window open. . . . 
Mr. Anson announced at lunch to-day that the Queen 
had definitely concluded the purchase of Osborne, in 
the Isle of Wight, so I suppose it is no longer a secret. 
He did not seem overjoyed, and said they had paid 
dear for it, though not quite as much as was asked 
originally, but that they had everything to do — building, 
&c., laying out the grounds, which consist of 800 acres, 
500 of which are now in farm or pasture, besides that 
they must build a little pier or something of that kind, 
to improve the landing place, for the yacht. Sir 
James Clark ^ does not like it either, as he says it is a 

* Sir James Clark, physician in ordinary to Queen Victoria, 1788- 
1870. 

G 



98 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

bad place for the children, not bracing enough to do 
them any good. It seems they would have nothing 
to do with Norris Castle, because it is a castellated 
mansion, and they would rather prefer any cottage- 
looking thing to a castle, for a change. I believe this 
is all public, but don't mention me as your authority. 
We are to go out driving with the Royalty at half-past 
three ; I am so glad to think I shall see a little of the 
beautiful Great Park again. . . . Who was Stephanie ? 
Nobody seems to know exactly, whether she was 
Josephine's niece, or M. de Beauharnais's — I rather 
think the latter, and mean to look into Thiers when 
I come home. They say her whole pedigree is in the 
Gotha Almanack for 1831, but nobody has it. . . .-^ 

(^Postscript) We had a regular dull evening yester- 
day, sitting at the Queen's table and " making con- 
versation," while the Prince and three others of the 
gentlemen played at four-handed chess. The Queen 
fired a terrible broadside at English artists, both as 
regards their works and (though I agreed with her in 
much that she said) as regards their prices, and 
their charging her in particular outrageously high ; in 
this I do not think she was quite borne out, for she 
quite forgets the additional time and trouble they 
bestow on things for her, coming down here, thereby 
being obliged to give up all their other engagements 
for the day, waiting perhaps here for a considerable 
time, and at last hearing the Queen could not sit to 
them that day, or only half an hour, and many other 
similar disappointments, such as their not being always 
allowed to exhibit the pictures. 

^ Vicomtesse Stephanie de Beauhamais, daughter of Comte Claud 
de Beauhamais, the elder brother of Vicomte Alexandre de Beauhar- 
nais, first husband of the Empress Josephine, was widow of the Grand 
Duke Charles of Baden. 



WINDSOR 99 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Sister, 
Lady Cremorne 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, March 25th, 1845. 

Dearest Oisy, — We had rather a pleasant evening 
yesterday, as, before the gentlemen came in, the Queen 
amused herself by trying the Cellarius Waltz, and the 
Polka, with Countess Wratislaw, I acting as Orchestra, 
and those sort of out-of-the-way events are always 
amusing. When the Prince and the gentlemen came 
in, she desired me to play the study with a shake, 
which I accordingly did, for the edification of the 
company. She agreed with us in thinking there was 
no comparison between Thalberg and Lizst, or any- 
one else, both for their music and execution. I 
certainly think him immensely superior to any pianist 
I ever heard. The Queen is going out riding at four ; 
the Prince was out with the harriers this morning, 
but is to accompany her on horseback this afternoon 
in spite of that ; Miss Hamilton is going with them 
. . . Lady Canning and I are to be in the way 
to receive Stephanie. . . . The Duchess of Buc- 
cleuch's christening is to be on the third, in the morn- 
ing, in Buckingham Palace Chapel, and the Queen 
dines with her at Montagu House that evening. . . ? 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Mar. 26th, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — I have a great bit of news for 
you, namely, that the Queen goes to Osborne on 

* The eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch was 
called Victoria Alexandrina ; she married in 1865 Schomberg Henry, 
ninth Marquis of Lothian. 



loo TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Saturday, taking only Lady Charlemont, Princess 
Royal, the two equerries, and Mdlle. Charrier. . . . 
Stephanie is very talkative, but I should say rather 
vulgar ; excessively at her ease with the Royalty, 
indeed yesterday evening she walked into the drawing- 
room before the Queen, to our great edification, 
without any complimenting or ceremony, but as a 
matter of course. The Prince showed her all the 
state rooms this morning and I attended them ; he 
was very civil and did it very well ; it was a little 
awkward when she asked about the Waterloo Gallery, 
and all about the pictures in it, &c., &c., but she 
passed it off quite naturally, like a Frenchwoman, 
not the least put out. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Mar. 2yth, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — ... Stephanie departed at 
twelve ; she is certainly rather vulgar, but very good- 
humoured and talkative, and though very royal, not at 
all stiff, but immensely condescending. She generally 
called Lady Douglas " ma fiUe," but the attendant 
spirits always called her La Princesse Marie.^ 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Mar. 28th, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — I have absolutely nothing to 
say, as we have passed a very quiet day, and remark- 

^ Princess Marie of Baden, daughter of Grand Duke Charies of Baden 
and the Vicomtesse Stephanie de Beauhamais, m. 1843, the Marquis 
of Douglas, afterwards Duke of Hamilton. 



WINDSOR loi 

ably stupid evening last night, the Queen, Duchess of 
Kent, and Lady Charlemont, with the Prince and some 
of the gentlemen playing a match at Russian bagatelle, 
as it was the first day of the bagatelle board ; and we 
ladies all sat close together round one corner of the 
room, and the remainder of the gentlemen stood all 
in a row at the opposite corner, and we looked on at 
the game from a distance, and meditated. This 
evening I daresay we shall have the same thing, at 
least the Duchess dines here again. 

Miss Hamilton is going to Ditton till Tuesday, 
and Mrs. Anson, who -posts from Windsor on that day, 
is to pick her up and bring her to the Palace with her. 
By the bye. Col. Bowles^ dines here this evening and 
I rather think he is now come to reside and Capt. 
Meynell is going on Tuesday. I am dying to see what 
he is like. I hear he is a good sort of little man, stout, 
square and hunchy ; this is Mr. Anson's account, 
who had it from the Prince, who had seen him once, 
but the Queen never has yet, and is in just as great a 
stew as all of us to see what he is like. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Oct. 24th, 1845, 

. . . The Blomfields^ are probably at St. Peters- 
burg by this time ; they heard from them at Lubeck, 
waiting for their ship, which went round, having 
dropped them at Hamburgh to meet them in the 
Baltic. Lord Hardwicke takes to himself the credit 
of having made the marriage, and this is his story. He 

^ Colonel George Bowles, Master of the Household, 4th April, 1845. 

" The Hon. John Bloomfield, afterwards second Baron Bloomfield, 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court 
of St. Petersburg, m. Hon. Georgina Liddell, youngest daughter of 
ThomEis, first Baron Ravensworth, who had been Maid of Honour to 
Qusen Victoria. 



102 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

met W. B., who is an old friend and schoolfellow of 
his, choosing prints and furniture for his house, in a 
shop in London, and told him what he wanted most 
was a wife. " Yes," says Mr. B., " I feel that, but I 
have very few acquaintances and I am going soon and 
I can't get one, I'm afraid." " Oh," answers Lord H., 
" if that's all your difficulty you know there is still 
one bird in the same nest I took my wife from, and if 
you like, I'll introduce you and you may look at her, 
and see whether it would suit you." He accordingly 
did, and, a fortnight after, Mr. B. proposed and she 
refused him, not giving her dislike of leaving her 
mother exactly as her reason, but they thought it was 
chiefly on that account ; and two days afterwards 
Lady Ravensworth^ wrote to Mr. B. to give him a 
" locus penitentise " if he chose to accept of it and he 
did choose and they were married. ... By the bye 
Uncle Anthony's 2 friend. Sir Jamsetjee Jeejubhoy,^ has 
been sending the Queen a lot of Arab horses, with the 
finest shawls for horse clothes ; they are only at the 
Custom House as yet; and we are all curious to see 
them. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. 26th, 1845, 

Dearest Papa, — We have had a long walk this after- 
noon with the Queen and Prince, to the poultry yard and 
all over the pleasure grounds ; they were extremely sweet 
and my loyalty is consequently immensely high. . . . 

^ Maria, daughter of John Simpson, Esq., of Bradley, m. Thomas, 
first Baron Ravensworth. 

* Admiral the Hon. Anthony Maitland, second son of eighth Earl 
of Lauderdale, was afterwards tenth Earl of Lauderdale. 

' Sir Jamsehjee Jejeebhoy, Bombay merchant, 1 873-1 859. 



WINDSOR 103 

We had a household dinner yesterday but were 
sent for at half past nine to play duets " i 8 mains," 
the Prince and Queen, Lady Mt. Edgcumbe and I. 
and Miss Dawson ^ was our audience. . . . Fancy that 
one day, as the Queen was driving down the Long 
Walk, her passage was obstructed by some white 
stakes, which on examination turned out to have been 
that moment planted there by a railway surveyor, who 
when asked what business he had to come into a 
private park and plan railroads there without leave said, 
he didn't know who to ask, and so he had done without 
leave. " But," says Col. Grey, " the Prince is ex- 
tremely annoyed at it." " Is he ? Well, I can't help 
it," said the surveyor, with which placid remark the 
conversation seems to have ended, as the outriders had 
in the meantime amused themselves pulling up the 
white stakes, and flinging them indignantly over the 
paling, so that they could drive on. They have 
altered their plan now, and a railway is talked of by 
Datchett, and thro' the Home Park below the North 
Terrace, to the Hundred Steps ; in return for giving 
up that bit of the Home Park, the Queen and Prince 
expect to be allowed to do away with the road by 
Frogmore to Egham, &c., and take all that into their 
pleasure grounds ; if they can, it will be an immense 
thing for them. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Oct. 2'jth, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — We are just come up from re- 
ceiving the Duchess of Gloucester, who stays here 

^ The Hon. Caroline Dawson, daughter of Hon. Lionel and the Lady 
Elizabeth Dawson, Maid of Honoiir to Queen Victoria. 



104 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

till Thursday — there is a large party invited to meet 
her ; to-day the De la Warrs, Peels, and Bedf ords ^ are 
expected, and to-morrow the Clarendons come if 
Lord Verulam^ is no worse. I don't recollect if 
I told you that I hear Lord Wilton ^ has sold his 
place, Heaton (I don't know whether I spell it 
right) near Manchester, to a railway company, for 
a very large sum, I believe. . . . 

October 2gth, 1845, 

We took a long drive in the Park yesterday after- 
noon, the Prince driving the Queen and all of us 
following in two carriages. There is a great preva- 
lence of gout just now among the visitors at the Castle ; 
Lord Mt. Edgcumbe, we all know, is always suffering 
from it ; and besides him. Lord Clarendon has a few 
twinges and Sir R. Peel is regularly laid up with a fit 
of it, the first he has ever had ; he is not very ill, but 
he cannot put his foot to the ground and consequently 
could not appear at dinner yesterday; . . . Lord 
Wriothesley Russell * lunched here yesterday, he came 
to see after his house in the Cloisters, which has been 
changed. You will see him on Sunday, I suppose, 
as you will still be at Latimer. I did not know till 
yesterday of Lady Dunmore's resignation and Lady 
Desart's ^ appointment ; it is, I think, a very 
nice one. 



^ Francis, seventh Duke of Bedford, and his wife, Lady Anna Maria 
Stanhope, daughter of Charles, third Earl of Harrington. 
^ James Walter, first Earl of Verulam, 1 775-1 845. 
^ Thomas Grosvenor, second Earl of Wilton, 1799-1882. 

* The Rev. Lord Wriothesley Russell, Canon of Windsor, fourth 
son of John, sixth Duke of Bedford, 1804-1886. 

* Lady Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of first Earl of Cawdor, tn, 
Otway, third Earl of Desart, 



WINDSOR 105 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Buckingham Palace, 

Thursday, Oct. 30th, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — We are waiting here while the 
Queen is dressing for the affair at Lincoln's Inn . . . 
they say it will be a very handsome thing, for the hall 
is beautiful. We go before one, take half an hour to 
go there with the eight cream colours, and receive 
addresses and make gracious answers till two, when 
we partake of a Disjune, as Col. Grey calls it, in com- 
pany with the Lavi^ers and at their expense. We 
leave this again for Windsor at half past four. We 
saw all the children yesterday ; they were really a 
pretty group all together, Prince Alfred just beginning 
to walk, and hardly able to do it without a hand, and 
the others all nearly of a height, or rather like little 
steps of stairs. I do not think the Prince of Wales 
improved in beauty, but both the little girls are, very 
much, and the four little creatures, with the Queen 
in the midst of them, looked very nice. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Oct. 31s/, 1845. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We had a most delightful 
day yesterday, dining with the Lawyers. It was a very 
striking sight, and we all thought ourselves in great 
luck coming in for it. The five hundred wigs and 
gowns all in one room looked uncommonly well, and 
put us in mind of the " Bal Poudr6 ! " The hall is 
quite beautiful, with stained glass windows and a rich 



io6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

oak roof. I sat between Sir Lancelot Shadwell and 
Mr. Ingram, both Vice-Chancellors, and was very 
well amused. The Queen also received and answered 
an address from the Society, in the Library, and 
knighted the Treasurer, John Francis Augustus 
Simpkins, who when asked what his name was, that 
she might knight him, said, *' My name is John, but 
my wife has a particular objection to my being called 
John," so he was knighted by his second name, Francis. 
If her new ladyship is so particular I should think she 
could hardly like the name of Simpkins, which is 
certainly not high-sounding. You may imagine how 
the Queen and all of us laughed when we talked it 
over on our way home, and last night, when after a 
household dinner we ladies were summoned to her 
room to play duets. We got home most comfortably 
by twenty minutes to six. 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, 
Friday Night, Oct. sist, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — We are come upstairs very early 
to-night and meditate going over the state rooms 
to-morrow morning with Lord Hardwicke to show 
them to Miss Dawson. . . . We had a beautiful drive 
this afternoon by Cranbourne Tower and then round 
by St. Leonards through some of the prettiest green 
drives in the Forest. . . . Mama will be pleased to 
hear that the Queen sent us a message this evening to 
say she would like to call us by our Christian names 
if we had no objection, to which we, of course, returned 
a loyal and dutiful answer, expressive of our delight 
at the proposal. 



WINDSOR 107 

Saturday. 

... I am just come up from breakfast, where 
Lord Hardwicke was amusing us with some pretty- 
little anecdotes of the Prince, among others, a thing 
he said yesterday, out shooting, as they were walking 
through a clover field, alluding to an old saying that 
if you find a clover stalk with four leaves on it, any 
virtuous wish you may have will be gratified ; he said, 
" I have no wish for myself, and but one wish for the 
future, and that is, for the long life of the Queen." 
I do think it was very nicely said. 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Nov. ^rd, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — We had a very pleasant day 
yesterday, taking a long walk in the afternoon with the 
Royal couple, first to Adelaide Cottage, where they 
are building a cottage for a gardener, I believe, and 
where we also looked at the guinea pigs, which, how- 
ever, never interest me ; thence to the kennelSj which 
are much more amusing ; some of the large dogs, 
blood-hounds, boar-hounds, mastiffs and wolf dogs, 
are very fine, and they have almost every year some 
new kinds. The one we were requested to admire 
yesterday was a Chinese dog — rather pretty, like a fox 
with long soft fur if you can fancy such a thing ; it is 
the sort the Chinese fatten for eating. Lord Lincoln 
is here, and went out walking with us, the Queen and 
Prince showing all they had done and suggesting what 
other improvements they would like the " W^oods and 
Forests " to make. In the evening she began talking 
of the foreign tour, and seems to have much enjoyed 
it ; but she said that the first view of the Rhine, in 
spite of the rain and bad weather, delighted her, but 



io8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

when she came back after roaming through the forests 
of Thuringen it looked so bare that, to her mind, it 
quite spoilt the scenery. 

... I saw F. Grant's^ beginning of the equestrian 
portrait of the Queen yesterday ; it is good, but not 
very strikingly like ; the first one he began, but which 
he was obliged to give up, as he had unluckily chosen 
the same attitude as Landseer, whose picture was 
painted first, is much better, indeed the head, which 
is quite finished, is the picture of the Queen. He is 
also painting one of the Prince, something in the style 
and attitude of Lord Londonderry's, only the Prince's 
horse is white ; I don't very much like it, but it is 
hardly fair to judge when it is so far from finished. . . . 

(Postscript) The Prince Augustus and Princess 
Clementina^ are expected to-morrow or next day. 

The following letters show the state of political 
tension then prevalent, although, as usual, the writer 
is more occupied with social affairs. Sir Robert Peel, 
who had come in to uphold the Corn Laws, was soon 
to go out because he was endeavouring to repeal them ; 
his second Free Trade Budget had been introduced 
early in the year, and Disraeli had branded his adminis- 
tration as " an organised hypocrisy." Peel, who had 
risen to the height of popularity as the prosperity of 
the country increased, owing to his financial reforms, 
now saw himself in an unenviable position. Desirous 
of supporting the Anti-Corn-Law League party led by 

^ Afterwards Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A,, 1803-1878. 
* Prince Augustus of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and his wife, Princess 
Clementine, daughter of King Louis Philippe. 



WINDSOR 109 

Bright* and Cobden, he was without support among 
his own colleagues, who looked on him as a traitor to 
the Protectionist party he represented. 

The mental conflict had been acute, and it was not 
without a struggle that he had decided to detach him- 
self from the body of the Conservative party. " I 
have never in my life witnessed such agony," the Duke 
of Wellington wrote to Croker" in October. 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Nov. 5th, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Lord Lincoln certainly let 
out no secrets, nor have I ever heard the name of 
any Minister mentioned, nor the word Corn Laws 
uttered, so I cannot gratify your curiosity. . . . Lord 
Byron ^ is in waiting, full of fun, as usual ; he kept us 
in fits of laughing all dinner-time yesterday, and made 
us waste a whole hour at breakfast this morning listen- 
ing to his stories of all sorts, one more killing than the 
other. 

On November 6th, Peel proposed to suspend the 
Corn Laws for a limited period, and Lord John Russell,* 
who had always favoured a fixed duty on corn, flung 
his principles aside and wrote the manifesto that made 
Bright declare : " Your letter has now made the total 
and immediate repeal of the Corn Laws inevitable." 

» Right Hon. John Bright, 1811-1889. 

* Right Hon. J. W. Croker, 1780-1857, 

' Ge<H"ge, seventh Baron Byron, permanent Lord in Waiting, 1789- 
1868. 

* Right Hon. Lord John Russell, afterwards first Earl Russell, 
third son of John, sixth Duke of Bedford, 1792-1878. 



no TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Nov. gth, 1845. 

Dearest Mamaj — ... I wonder how the dis- 
sensions will end ; the Peels and Lord Aberdeen came 
here yesterday, but nothing has transpired, and Sir 
Robert is still so poorly with the gout that he has not 
yet appeared, but hopes to be able to come to dinner 
this evening. This is the Prince of Wales's birthday, 
and, consequently, we all stayed in the gallery after 
lunch to see the four children, and wish the hero of the 
day many happy returns of it. He looked well, and 
they were all very gracious and nice ; afterwards 
went out on the Terrace for a walk, the whole party, 
including, for the first time in their lives I believe. 
Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales, who walked 
very quietly and prettily between their Mama and 
Papa. After we had taken a few turns up and down, 
the children were sent home with Mdlle. Charrier, 
and we prolonged our walk in the Home Park a little, 
and got home in time for Chapel. ... 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Nov. i8th, 1845, 

Dearest Mama, — ... I had a charming drive 
this morning with Mrs. Anson to the Queen's schools 
near Cumberland Lodge, which are new this year, and 
very well managed as far as I can judge. The boys' 
school is quite remarkable, and the master seems a 
quick, intelligent man, likely to teach well and get 
them on. I heard an examination on part of Exodus, 
and I am sure I could not have answered half the ques- 
tions that they all had at their fingers' ends. The 



WINDSOR III 

Queen and court are very much afraid of its becoming 
a show school, and therefore stop all visitors, except 
those from the Castle, as much as possible, in which 
they are right, for everybody is rather inclined, natur- 
ally, to come and see the Queen's school, especially as 
she occasionally goes there herself. . . . 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Nov. 15th, 1845. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Princes and gentlemen 
go to London this evening to hear the amateur play 
for the Sanatorium ; Dickens ^ and Douglas Jerrold ^ 
and others of that description are the actors. I dare- 
say it will be worth seeing. The women parts are of 
course done by actresses. It is Ben Jonson's Every 
Man in his Humour. They come back by " special " 
in the middle of the night. . . . 

* Charles Dickens, 181 2-1 870. 
» Douglas Jerrold, 1 803-1 884. 



CHAPTER VIII 

1 POLITICAL CHANGES 

Politics — Paris fashions — A family group — Reports from India — Mr. 
Gladstone's mistake — Household changes — A dull dinner — The 
Prince and Princess of Prussia — An elder sister — New rules for 
Maids of Honour — The famine in Ireland — Discussions between 
Prince of Wales and Princess Royal — Winterhalter at work— Sir 
Robert and Lady Peel — A merry game — The new household — 
Spanish marriages — Floods in Scotland — A " charming skittle 
match " — The Sunday school — Out riding — The Queen's activity 
— Miss Stanley's drawings — Royal visitors — On duty — Princess 
Helena's socks — Practising singing — Enter the Grand Duchess 
— ^A runaway match. \ 

In December 1845, the Queen had desired Lord John 
Russell to form a Cabinet, a task which that statesman 
found himself unable to perform. He was confronted 
by two difficulties, the minority of his party in both 
Houses, and the impossibility of persuading Lord 
Palmerston to accept any portfolio but that of Foreign 
Affairs. As the masterful " Pam " declined any other 
post and Lord Grey declined to take part in any ad- 
ministration in which he filled it. Lord John reported 
to the Queen that he was unable to form a Cabinet. 
On December 20th Peel went to Osborne to pay a 
farewell visit to his Sovereign, and came back rein- 
stated in his office as Prime Minister. On January 
22nd, 1846, Disraeli delivered his philippic, and it was 



POLITICAL CHANGES 113 

evident to all that a house so divided against itself 
as was the Government could not hold out very long. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 

Lady Mary Stanley 

Buckingham Palace, 

Wednesday, Feb. i8ih, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — I arrived here in beautiful time, 
as the Queen did not come till half-past four ; Lady- 
Canning has written to me to Grosvenor Square. . . . 
The " Sweet Queen " kissed us very sweetly, and her 
sweet consort shook hands with us very sweetly. . . . 
Lord Warwick is in waiting, but has resigned, so he 
will never wait again ; Captain Duncombe ^ and Mr. 
A. Gore are also gone ; Lord De La Warr has not 
resigned yet, but is likely to do so, and Lord Granby ^ 
ditto ; Lord Sydney * too perhaps ; but this is not so 
sure. Lady Canning told me this, and added that 
she heard Lord Warwick cried with grief when he 
told Sir Robert he must resign, particularly when he 
talked of the *' dear Queen's nice little jucks,^^ meaning 
jokes; but he does not seem to be regretted. I hear 
the Queen at present intends going to Osborne on the 
27th, Friday ; if she keeps to that we shall be dis- 
missed for good on that day. . . . Miss Dawson was 
at Paris, and has brought a lovely grey crape Herbault 
bonnet, not a Pamela, which she says are quite out ; 
the gowns are still worn very full, that is seven breadths 



^ Arthur, fourth son of Charles Duncombe, first Baron Feversham, 
Captain R.N., later Admiral, 1800-1889. 

' Charles, Marquis of Granby, afterwards sixth Duke of Rutland, 
1815-1888. 

^ John, Earl Sydney, at various times Lord Steward and Lord 
Chamberlain, 1805-1890. 

H 



114 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

without, and six with flounces, and these last, and trim- 
mings of all sorts, are much worn very high up ; even- 
ing gowns made with rows of fringe up to the waist, 
or tucks with ribbon through them up to the waist. 
Her flowers are very pretty, but all the old shape ; 
wreaths full at the sides. Buttons are the rage, and 
sleeves are not worn open or short so much as they 
were. Bodies are made straight or cross as one likes, 
and white collars are rather larger. . . . 

Princess Royal has begun the piano half an hour a 
day, with Mrs. Anderson. Princess Alice does not 
yet begin to read. . . . 

Buckingham Palace, 

Thursday, Feb. igth, 1846, 

Dearest Mama, — It (dinner last night) was a funny 
party, all the people without their wives or husbands, 
the only couple being the Archbishop of Canterbury ^ 
and Mrs. Howley. Lady Rowley ^ and Lady Cawdor ' 
were not well, which was the reason of their not being 
there. ... I sat next Lord John Russell at dinner, 
and rather lost my heart to him, he talked so nicely 
about feeling the house so dull without the merry 
children's voices to enliven it. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Buckingham Palace, 

Friday, Feb. 20th, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — I went with the Queen and Prince 
last night to the Haymarket Theatre, to see the Bee 

1 William Howley, D.D., Archbishop of Canterbury, 1 765-1848. 

2 Charlotte, only daughter of John Moseley, Esq., m. Sir Joshua 
Rowley, third Baronet. 

^ Lady Elizabeth Thynne, daughter of Thomas, second Marquis 
of Bath, m. John, first Earl Cawdor. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 115 

and Orange, a fairy tale play, and awfully stupid, as 
Lady Canning and I agreed, but the Royal couple 
laughed very much and seemed to enjoy it of all things. 
It is certainly a nice thing about them that they are 
so easily amused. They take Miss Dawson to the 
French play to-night. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Buckingham Palace, 

Saturday, Feb. 2isty 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — The Queen's departure still 
stands for Friday, but they talk of her only staying a 
week; if so we shall have to come back. ... I met 
the Queen walking in the garden yesterday, without 
the Prince, but with the two eldest children, one in 
each hand. Princess Alice following in a sort of go-cart, 
with Mdlle. Gruner, besides three footmen, one to 
draw the cart, one to carry cloaks, &c., and one with 
scraps of bread for the swans and ducks. I never saw 
a more imposing group by way of a quiet family party. 

Buckingham Palace, 

Wednesday, Feb. 25/A, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — ... I have just seen Lord 
De La Warr, who is come to attend some audiences, 
and who seems thoroughly happy at the good accounts 
of his son in India ; they got a long letter, with the 
whole description of the events of the week, from him- 
self, and a few very kind lines from Sir H. Gough,^ of 
whose staff he is, but who lent him and another to 

* Sir Henry Gough, afterwards Viscount Gough, 1 779-1869. 



ii6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Sir H. Harding/ whose own Aides-de-camp were 
almost all disabled or killed ; young West had a 
narrow escape of a ball that slit his coat and shirt 
sleeve from the wrist to the elbow, but merely grazed 
him. 



T^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, - 
Edward Stanley 

Buckingham Palace, 

Tuesday, Feb. 24th, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — How shocking all these accounts 
of the war in India are ! We could hardly help wonder- 
ing at the Queen going to the play at half-past seven 
when she only got the dispatches at half- past six. I 
am very sorry for that poor young Somerset ; it is the 
same one they were so anxious about all last year, as 
he was very dangerously wounded. This time there is 
no report of his death in the returns, but he was found 
in the morning not quite dead, having passed the night 
on the field and nearly frozen to death, so that it is 
impossible he could survive. ... I am so sorry we 
did not hear the Park and Tower guns fired, which 
they did by mistake, without the Queen's orders, at 
half-past nine last night, while we were at the play ; 
a thing that was never yet done after dark, but, 
as the Queen laughing said, " Mr. Gladstone ^ is 
now in office and probably did not know any better." 
Those who heard them say it was splendid, all the 
finer for being in the stillness of night ; I cannot 
understand how we did not hear them, as they say 
it shook the very walls of the houses. The Mimoires 

^ Sir Henry Hardinge, afterwards Viscount Hardinge, 1 785-1 856, 
' Right Hon. William Ewart Gladstone, 1809-1898. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 117 

du Diable was very good fun, and not quite so improper 
as the name would lead one to suppose ; we came 
away at half-past ten, as soon as that piece was over, 
and the Queen took leave of Lady Canning, who is 
succeeded by Lady Mt. Edgcumbe. ... I hear Lord 
Lincoln has great hopes of being returned ; his affairs 
have taken a much more favourable turn these last few 
days. , , , 

Buckingham Palace, 

Thursday, Feb. 26th, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Drawing-room was 
not very full, and nobody looked pretty ; however, it 
was rather amusing on the whole, as usual. The 
Queen was in great good looks, stood for about half 
the time, and then sat down on an armchair that was 
ready placed before she came in, and covered with 
her train when she stood. 

Events marched quickly in the political world. 
On June 25th the Government was defeated on the 
Coercion Bill, the Tories and Radicals going into the 
Opposition lobby side by side. Peel, seeing the Cob- 
denites, whom he had helped to gain the Repeal of 
the Corn Laws, going against him as well as the bulk 
of the members of the party he was supposed to lead, 
sank into a deep depression. " He began to compre- 
hend his position, and that the Emperor was without 
his army." * 

The party system was almost disorganised when 
Russell began his administration, and he found his 

* Disraeli's Life of Lord George Bentinck. 



ii8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

best card lay in the dissensions of the Tories. He 
offered portfohos to various members of the late Cabi- 
net, but they declined to take oflSce ; finally he formed 
a Cabinet with Palmerston at the Foreign Office, and 
Grey, who yielded to pressure and consented to act with 
him, as Colonial Secretary ; Lord Lansdowne was Presi- 
dent of the Council and leader of the House of Lords, 
and Sir Charles Wood Chancellor of the Exchequer.^ 

There were, of course, considerable changes among 
the Household, but the only lady whose appointment 
depended on the party in power was the Mistress of 
the Robes. The Duchess of Buccleuch's^ place was 
now taken by the Duchess of Sutherland, who had 
held that office in the Melbourne administration. 

When Eleanor Stanley came into waiting in Sep- 
tember 1846, the Queen-Dowager^ and the Princess 
of Prussia* were guests of the Queen. 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Sept. 25th, 1846, 

Dearest Mama, — We arrived here yesterday in very 
good time, like good children, as Lady Canning told 
us, for coming so early. Miss Kerr ° was just going, so 

^ Sir Charles Wood, afterwards first Viscount Halifax, 1800-1885. 

^ Lady Charlotte Thynne (V.A.), youngest daughter of Thomas, 
second Marquis of Bath, m. Walter, fifth Duke of Buccleuch. 

^ Princess Adelaide of Saxe Meiningen, daughter of George, Duke 
of Saxe Meiningen, widow of King William IV, 1792-1849. 

* Princess Marie Louise of Saxe Weimar, daughter of Grand Duke 
of Saxe Weimar, m. Prince Frederick William of Prussia. 

' The Hon. Lucy Kerr, fifth daughter of Major-General Lord Robert 
Kerr, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 119 

that we were ordered to stay at home, or rather to be 
in the way at five o'clock, and wait till the D. and 
Duchess of Cambridge^ and the Grand Duchess of 
Mecklenburgh ^ arrived ; he was not expected, as he 
is ill with a liver complaint, and not able for the exer- 
tion and long standing after dinner which there always 
is in so large a party. 

The evening was more formal and dull than I can 
describe ; the dinner was a grand stately affair in the 
Waterloo Gallery, which always looks handsome, but 
stiff and royal. The Duchess of Kent was poorly, 
and did not come, so there was her vacant place left 
in the middle of the Royalty seats ; and the dinner was 
a joke in point of dullness to the evening in the 
tapestried ball-room ; it looked longer than usual with 
the chairs all ranged against the walls, and some other- 
wise in the middle, on which all those ladies who were 
not at the Queen's table sat ; the gentlemen standing 
round the door at a respectful distance. . . . The 
Royal party are all in great force and good looks, the 
Queen a good deal tanned, but not red, or fat, and the 
Prince decidedly grown thin rather, and browned with 
the sun, so I am all in the fashion here in that respect. 
The Queen Dowager, too, seems uncommonly well, 
and the Princess of Prussia is a fine-looking woman, 
with a well-shaped and put-on head, and beautiful 
brown hair, which she dresses rather oddly, with enor- 
mous wreaths put on straight on her forehead, and 
straight across her head, like an old statue. She 
also sports wonderful fancy caps in the morning. 

1 Prince Adolphus, third son of King George III, m. Princess 
Augusta of Hesse Cassel, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse 
Cassel. 

* Princess Marie of Hesse Cassel, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave 
of Hesse Cassel, m. the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg Strelitz. 



120 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Queen presented Caroline^ and me to her, 
telling her I spoke German very well. . . . They all 
make a prodigious fuss with her ; but it is surmised 
that the Queen and Duchess of Cambridge both think 
her son, who is fifteen, would be a very pretty marriage 
for their respective daughters. I think, however, 
Princess Royal has the best chance ; she looked very 
nice this afternoon when they passed the corridor 
after lunch, the whole five of them, in smart white 
dresses ; the girls in white muslins and the boys white 
merion. They were all so nearly of a size, and the 
Queen too, that she looked only like an elder sister 
taking charge of them. ... By the by she asked 
very kindly after you, and I should think her charming 
if it were not for a horrid new set of rules, brought 
on us by Lady Douro and Miss Napier's^ stupidity 
bothering her by asking about everything ; one of 
which is that the one in waiting shall never stir out 
of the Castle before luncheon, and only if the Queen 
says there are no orders, after lunch ; and the Maids 
of Honour are forbidden to go alone further than the 
parapet of the Eastern Terrace, so that it reaUy feels 
like a prison ; but, as Lady Canning and Lady Lyttel- 
ton both are against this rule, there are hopes of its 
being relaxed. In the meantime it is framed and 
glazed, and in the Lady in Waiting's room. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sept. 27th, 1846, 

Dearest Papa, — ... At present we are awfully 
busy, what with our usual waiting work and doing 

1 Hon. Caroline Dawson. 

* The Hon. Anne Carmichael Napier, fourth daughter of William, 
ninth Baron Napier, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 121 

the honours to strangers besides. The Norfolks ^ are 
here, and Lady Elizabeth Grosvenor's^ marriage is 
settled — to Mr. Lawley, of course ; they were just 
choosing trousseaux, tell Mama, when she met her 
and Lady Westminster ^ at Lewis and AUenby's ; but 
the Duchess of Norfolk thinks it will not be till after 
Christmas. We have the old Archbishop here ; he 
came down for the Council yesterday, to settle upon 
a form of prayer for the famine in Ireland, which 
everybody gives the same account of, and which, 
beginning so early in the year, when everything 
ought to be most abundant, is too dreadful. I 
have been admiring Lady Canning's sketches all 
morning : that is, since church. They are very 
nice, such a good journal of all the places she has 
been at, particularly the coasts of Spain and Greece. 
She learns of Leitch,* and they put me very much 
in mind of his style, the buildings especially, but 
the trees are not so good. 

We have just come home after a very busy after- 
noon, and I am writing this in a great hurry to get it 
finished before a late tea in Lady Canning's room, 
which she always has for the benefit of the Countess 
Haack and Lady Clinton,* and invites us to partake 
of too. 

We went at half-past three to the Stables, the whole 

* Henry, thirteenth Duke of Norfolk, and his wife, Lady Charlotte 
Leveson Gower, daughter of George, first Duke of Sutherland. 

■ Lady Elizabeth Grosvenor, third daughter of Richard, second 
Marquis of Westminster, m. Hon. Richard Lawley, afterwards second 
Baron Wenlock. 

• Lady Elizabeth Leveson Gower, daughter of first Duke of 
Sutherland, m. Richard, second Marquis of Westminster. 

* William Leighton Leitch, 1 804-1 883. 

• Lady Elizabeth Kerr, daughter of sixth Marquis of Lothian, tn. 
nineteenth Baron Clinton. 



122 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of us, Queens and subjects ; then we ladies, and the 
Queen-Dowager and Princess of Prussia, went to St. 
George's Chapel, and after that the Queen joined us 
again, and the whole party walked on the Terrace, even 
the Queen Dowager, who insisted on going, though 
Lord Howe read her a lecture and Lady Clinton looked 
reprovingly at her for her imprudence, as it was within 
a few minutes of six o'clock. It was a most lovely 
evening, very uncommon for this time of year, so 
warm and fine. They tell me one or two amusing 
stories of some discussions between the Princess 
Royal and Prince of Wales on board the yacht ; the 
first day or two they were awfully sick, poor little 
wretches, which the Queen thought good for them, 
but after that they bore it well, and were heard in very 
warm argument one day about which of them was the 
owner of the Scilly Islands. Princess Royal said they 
were hers, and Prince of Wales was equally sure they 
belonged to him ; and another day the Princess was 
heard telling her brother all the things she meant to 
do when she was Queen, and he quite acquiesced in 
it, and it never seemed to strike either of them that 
it would be otherwise. It is rather a natural 
mistake for them to fall into, the little girl being 
the elder, and, moreover, seeing that their Mama 
is Queen, and their Papa is not King. I wore Mrs. 
Murray's new gown on Friday, but it did not create 
half the excitement the rosebud one did yesterday; 
each person, as they came into the corridor, stopped 
to look at it, and see what it was made of ; even 
the Queen took it up, and examined it, and re- 
marked how pretty it was, and that she had never 
seen one. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 123 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Sept. 28th, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — I have really nothing to say to- 
day . . . yesterday evening was decidedly dull, being 
Sunday, and of course, there being no card-playing, 
the servants had not taken the trouble to put out the 
tables ; so that there was nothing to break the dreadful 
formality of the row of ladies sitting against the wall 
on one side, and the group of gentlemen standing in 
the middle, out of which one or two, more courageous 
than the rest, occasionally made little excursions to 
address a few words to the ladies. To-day we expect 
it will be better, as there is a rumour we are to dance, 
and there certainly are one or two young ladies in- 
vited to dinner. . . . The Princess goes to-morrow; 
she is sitting to Winterhalter, who is rather in despair 
at the hurry he has been obliged to take her portrait 
in ; but they say it is very like. She is to give him 
another sitting to-morrow at eight a.m., and goes to 
London after breakfast ; and I believe is to see the 
Duke's statue put up on the arch, from the windows 
of Apsley House. She is certainly dreadfully affected 
in her manner, but must have been handsome. She 
leaves England on Thursday for The Hague, where she 
is to spend a day or two with the King of Holland,^ 
and thinks of going by Frankfurt to Prussia ; it seems 
rather a round-about way, but they say it is the ^ortest 
and best. 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Sept. 29/A, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — We are just come in from a nice 
long drive, and then a walk, both with the Queen. 

^ King William II succeeded on the abdication of his father, 
William I, October 8, 1840. 



124 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Norfolks and Peels are still here, but all the rest 
are gone, and the house feels quite deserted after the 
crowds we have had lately. I am so glad to think we 
are to dine and sit in the usual rooms to-night, those 
grand ones are so dreadfully dull. There was no 
dancing last night after all, and we were stiffer than 
usual. 

The Queen-Dowager and Princess went this morn- 
ing at ten o'clock ; the Queen kissed us lovingly at 
parting ; and Lady Clinton told me she meant to try 
and find you one of these days, before Thursday, when 
she goes out of town, as well as you. I made great 
acquaintance' with Lord Howe, whom I think quite 
charming ; Lady Howe has just got a boy, the 
eleventh child alive, and she has lost two ; I think 
they could be spared. 

... It was rather fun seeing the two Premiers 
last night ; they were one on each side of the Duchess 
of Norfolk at dinner ; and when the ladies retired, 
and they were together, I hear they were very sweet 
upon one another. The Queen was very kind to Sir 
R., and looked " sugar and spice and all that's nice " 
upon Lady Peel, and told her " Sir R. was looking so 
much better than when she saw him in town," and 
here she looked up and smiled, and a sentimental little 
sigh and shake of the head as much as to say, " I wish 
I had him back again." The children were paraded 
in the Corridor after lunch to-day again ; they were 
going to be shown to Winterhalter, who did a 
charming head of Prince Alfred this afternoon. 
They are dear little things, putting out their fat 
bits of hands to be kissed, and making their civil 
speeches. . . . 



POLITICAL CHANGES 125 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 
Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Sept. 30th, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — We are just come in from a nice 
long walk with the Queen and Prince, Sir R. and Lady- 
Peel, and Lady Canning. . . . We went all about the 
grounds and fed the chickens and pigeons, and they 
all took a prodigious fancy to Sir Robert, and came and 
perched all over him — at the top of his hat and on his 
arms and shoulders and everywhere. He fed them 
very prettily, and was very much distressed when one 
large black one pecked the others off and got the largest 
share. . . . Lady Peel leaned lovingly on his arm all 
the time, and he carried her clogs, and took little short 
steps to suit her, and they looked as devoted as the 
Royal couple before them. We then had a game at 
skittles, and all tried our hand at it ; and they said 
something about our all going there to-morrow and 
having a regular match, which would be rather good 
fun. . . . Leitch was here this morning, giving the 
Queen a drawing-lesson ; I only saw him for a minute, 
and was glad to renew my acquaintance with him. 
Lady Canning did the teaching at Osborne, and says 
she really had to give regular lessons, like a master, 
and the Queen said, " What shall I put now ? " — " Do 
you think I should add some green ? " — " Is that blue 
enough ? " — and did exactly as she was bid. I am so 
sorry Lady Canning is going on Tuesday next, but, 
however, I shall rather like at last being once with 
Lady Gainsborough,^ whom I have never been in wait- 
ing with. You cannot think the relief it was to be in 

* Lady Frances Jocelyn (V.A.), daughter of third Earl of Roden, 
«t. as bis fourth wife the second Earl of Gainsborough. 



126 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the private drawing-rooms yesterday, and to have our 
work and be occupied while the Queen sat at her table ; 
and she seems to think so too, for whereas for the last 
week they had all sat in solemn silence, or only talking 
in whispers at the round table, yesterday they had a 
merry round game, and went into fits at each other's 
mistakes, the Queen's and Lord Morpeth's^ laugh being 
the most conspicuous. ... I hear there is a sixth 
Mdme. D'Arblay out,^ that we have never read, and 
another expected in October. . . . The people here 
don't think Parliament means to meet, but nobody 
knows. . . . 



7he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. ist, 1846- 

Dearest Mama, — ... I have seen none of the 
new Household yet, but Lord Waterpark,^ whom I 
rather like ; Lord Ormonde * succeeds him on Tuesday 
next. The two Equerries that came to-day are Col. 
Buckley and Col. F. Seymour,^ whose acquaintance I 
am dying to make, as everybody likes him so much. 
I confess, though, I was glad to see Sir R. Peel here ; 
his face was so much more familiar to me than the 
new Government's countenances, except the old ones ; 
though I did miss Lord Aberdeen and Lord De LaWarr, 
and hardly knew the top of the table at dinner with 

^ George, Lord Morpeth, afterwards seventh Earl of Carlisle, Chief 
Commissioner of Woods and Forests, 1 862-1 864. 

" Vols. vi. and vii. of the Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay 
were published in 1846. 

* Henry Manners, third Baron Waterpark, 1793-1863. 

* John, second Marquis of Ormonde, 1808-1854. 

5 Colonel, afterwards General F. Seymour, succeeded his cousin in 
1870 as fifth Marquis of Hertford. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 127 

Lord R. Grosvenor ^ there and Lord Liverpool sitting 
at the side as a visitor. Then the D. of Norfolk is a 
sad falling off from Lord Jersey. We are in a great 
state of excitement till we hear of the Statue being 
fairly up ; the Duchess of Kent went to London 
yesterday to lunch with the Queen-Dowager, and 
afterwards see the operation, but she could hardly 
stay for any of it, and after all it was not finished last 
night, but I do not think anybody expects it to look 
more than barely tolerable in that place. . . .^ 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 
Windsor Castle, Friday, October 2nd, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — What shocking accounts of the 
floods in Scotland ! . . . Lady Canning was talking 
of the Spanish Marriage to-day, and saying how tire- 
some it was that one never could hear anything 
here, as those who could tell one were all on their 
good behaviour, and nobody liked to talk politics ; and 
said she had been on the watch ever since she came 
here to hear something about it, but had not succeeded, 
and as Lord C. is in Scotland with the Douglases, she 
could get nothing out of him either. I had been listen- 
ing, too, for something about it, as you desired me, but 
equally without success. She said, however, she had 
heard that the King of the French had made some sort 
of engagement with our Queen, that if in a year or two 
the Queen of Spain had no family, so that the Infanta 
was not the next heir, his son should then marry her, 

» Lord Robert Grosvenor, afterwards first Baron Ebury, third son 
of Robert, first Marquis of Westminster, Groom of the Stole to the 
Prince Consort, 1801-1893. 

• The Duke of Wellington's statue at Hyde Park Comer. 



128 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

but not unless, and this promise he has broken. All 
that everybody says is that it is done in a shabby, 
underhand way, but few think that the marriage itself 
can do much harm.^ 

{Postscript) Lady Canning just told me that the 
accounts she hears from Lady Waterpark ^ of her part 
of Ireland are dreadful. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Oct. ^rd, 1846, 

Dearest Mama, — ^We had a delightful little quiet 
evening yesterday, the Queen talked to us all the time 
till the gentlemen came in and asked a great deal about 
Ois. I told her of the chickens being stolen, which 
seemed to make a great impression on her, for she re- 
peated it to the Prince when he came. She then read 
us a little lecture on the rightness of locking one's door 
at night, and said she always did ; and Lady Canning 
immediately brought in that murder you always teU 
me of, of a man and his wife and their servant ; but 
she added in spite of that she could not bear her door 
locked. Afterwards we sat at her table, and played 
at Patience — that is, we helped her. It is a most 
beautiful one, called Russian Patience. I had, more- 
over, the honour of teaching the Prince his own 
Patience, that he taught me long ago, and had for- 
gotten ; its right name is " the Clock." 

* The Due de Montpensier, youngest son of King Louis Philippe, 
m. the Infanta Louisa on the same day that the Queen of Spain m. the 
Duke of Cadiz. 

2 Hon. EUzabeth Anson (V.A.), daughter of Thomas, first Viscount 
Anson, m, Henry Manners, third Baron Waterpark. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 129 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. 4th, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — We are just come up from 
luncheon, after which there was an exhibition of the 
children, which seems now to be rather the customary- 
thing on Sunday. They looked very nice, as usual. 
Lord Canning is here, and tells us there never was 
anything like the damage the rain has done between 
Edinburgh and Berwick, on the railway. Seven 
bridges are impassable, three being destroyed and four 
so shaken as to be unsafe. They are not all over 
rivers ; the first one out of Edinburgh is only over 
a road ; but the embankments leading up to it have 
given way from the great quantity of wet that fell. 
He describes the journey as rather amusing, though 
odious in many respects ; there were no horses nor 
conveyance to be had anywhere, as the railway had, 
of course, put a stop to them all ; and the road was 
consequently strewed with groups of discontented 
travellers sitting on their portmanteaux and bags. 
He was, besides, encumbered with a carriage, and had 
to go about the country begging for horses, till at last, 
at two in the morning, he succeeded in bribing a farmer 
to let him have a pair, and then got somehow to 
Berwick, where he found post horses. They say 
the railroad cannot be repaired in less than five 
months ; what an inconvenience ! but I suppose 
they can make it temporarily passable in a much 
shorter time. 

. . . We had a charming skittle match yesterday 
afternoon — the Queen and Cols. Seymour and Buckley 
against the Prince, Lady Canning, Caroline, and 



130 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

me — we won elevenpence a-piece, but have not 
yet received it, as the Equerries say they will not 
pay till H.M. sets them the example, and she seems 
to have forgotten her fourteen pence three farthings 
debt. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Oct. 5th, 1846, 

Dearest Mama, — We are here alone, all but Lord 
Canning, who stays till to-morrow, when Lady C. 
goes out of waiting ; Lord Downshire ■"• is, however, 
expected this evening, and the Ansons dine here. 
Yesterday we had rather a dull evening, with a few 
prints and drawings Lady Bloomfield has brought from 
Russia to look at, and afterwards we had the usual 
spelling words, " the Sunday School," as Lord Hawar- 
den ^ used to call it, because we never did it but on 
Sunday evenings. I don't think the Bloomfields will 
stay very long in Russia, as she seems to dislike it, 
and to dread the climate very much indeed ; and she 
said yesterday that since they had been in Ireland 
this summer to his place, she had taken a great fancy 
to be a good Irishwoman, which I thought looked 
like giving up Russia soon. 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — I am just come in from a charm- 
ing ride with the Queen ; it is the first time she has 
taken a regular ride this year, though she was out pony- 
ising once or twice at Osborne. It was a lovely after- 
noon, and as the Queen was well taken care of between 

^ Arthur, fourth Marquis of Downshire, 1812-1S68. 
* Comwallis, third Viscount Hawarden, 1780-1856* 



POLITICAL CHANGES 131 

the Prince and Col. Buckley, I fell to Col. Seymour's 
lot, and he took great care of me, and made himself 
so agreeable that I quite lost my heart. ... I sup- 
pose you will have heard long before this of Lady Rose 
Somerset's^ elopement with Mr. Lovell ; Lord Wor- 
cester is gone after them, that is, to try and find them, 
for they have only a general idea that they are in Wales. 
They say Mr. Lovell has long wished it, and was forbid 
the Duke's house, as he would not hear of it ; so much 
for the Duchess's telling Charlie she only wished to see 
them all married to country clergymen. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Oct. jih, 1846, 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Lady Gainsborough is here, 
and very nice, but I still miss Lady Canning sadly ; 
however. Lady G. is very good-natured to us both, 
and singles me out to talk Whiggism to, as she is a 
good Whig, and, I suppose, takes it for granted that 
I am the same. 

. . . We went into Winterhalter's studio to-day, 
to see the picture he is painting of the Queen and 
Prince of Wales ; at present it is the image of both. 
I hope he will not spoil it in the finishing ; the only 
fault I could find is the colour of the Queen's gown — 
pink satin and with black lace over it, and I never like 
pink in a picture. There is also a beginning of Prince 
Alfred, excellent, and a full length of the Prince, which 
promises well. . . . The Cambridges and Prince 
Frederick of Hesse, the Duchess's brother, are just 

* Lady Rose Somerset, fourth daughter of Henry, seventh Duke 
of Beaufort, m. October 1846, Francis Lovell, Esq, 



132 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

arrived on a visit to stay till Friday — and on Monday 
next I hear we are to have the Queen-Dowager again, 
with a Princess of Hesse, to stay till the following 
Friday ; what a bore ! I am afraid it will be an affair 
of Waterloo Chamber and State rooms again ! . . . 
They say Lady Rose and Mr. Lovell's is a two years' 
attachment, and that Mr. Culling Smith and Lord 
Worcester^ and all the family except the Duke and 
Duchess were for it, and said it would end in an elope- 
ment if they did not give in. They managed it rather 
well ; she made her escape from Badminton at half- 
past ten on Friday night, and he took her in his gig, 
driven by a favourite old hunter, to the railway station 
at a considerable distance ; here he had a special train 
waiting which took them to Gloucester, where they 
got on the Gloucester and Birmingham line, and 
thence made their way to Scotland. ... I believe 
the picture of the Queen and Prince of Wales is in- 
tended as a present to Sir R. Peel ; but this is by way 
of a profound secret — what a delicate attention ! . . . 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Oct. gth, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Caroline and Lady Augusta ^ 
got wet through going out to see the chickens 
before lunch, so did the Queen and Duchess of 
Cambridge in their early walk after breakfast, and the 
Duchess was obHged to run as hard as she could, and 
came home in an awful state of heat, complaining 

1 The Marquis of Worcester, afterwards eighth Duke of Beaufort. 
* Lady Augusta Bruce, second daughter of Thomas, seventh Earl 
of Elgin. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 133 

bitterly of the pace her royal niece went at. . . . 
Baron Stockmar ^ is gone for a few days to pay a visit 
to Sir Robert Peel ; a most unusual thing for him to 
do. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Oct. loth, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — I had a very pleasant hour and 
a half with the Queen yesterday morning ; she took 
a lesson of Leitch first of all (by the way, he invited 
me to come to see his studio in Mornington Place, 
and I should like very much to go some day next 
spring), during which she talked a good deal about 
drawing, and made some very wise-like remarks on 
the subject. She had had my drawings for a couple 
of days to look at, and made lots of pretty speeches 
to me and Mr. Leitch about them ; and, after the 
lesson, she kept me for half an hour looking at them 
again, and asking different things about them. She 
was very inquisitive about those in chalk, and said 
Lady Canning had told her I had given her a lesson 
in it, and asked if I would give her one, which I, of 
course, said yes to, but inwardly hoped she would not 
find time for, as I shall die of nervousness, or, what is 
nearly as bad, not be able to draw well. She was very 
sweet, and as she had nothing to draw upon but 
block sketch books, she was so condescending as to 
borrow my two boards and my desk, so that I am 
pretty bare of drawing things just now. She seems 
very anxious to master the difficulty of colour, as 
far as mixing them and using them tolerably easily, 
but does not seem to have any ideas beyond that — 
of composition and light and shade, which Leitch 
will not give her, as it is there he is deficient ; but 

* Christian Friedrich, Baron Stockmar, 1 787-1 863. 



134 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

I thought he explained the first beginning of drawings 
and sketches very well yesterday. The Queen asked 
me if I did not find perspective very troublesome, 
which gave me an opportunity of putting in a good 
word for Bartholemew ; in short, the whole thing 
was very nice. Leitch comes again on Monday, 
so I hope she will send for me to sit with her 
again. 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Oct. 12th, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — The Queen-Dowager is just 
come, with the Princess of Hesse, Lady Clinton, and 
an old fat housekeeping-looking Hessian lady and a 
Hessian man. They stay till Friday. The Van de 
Weyers are still here, but Count Dietrichstein ^ and 
the John Russells are gone. The Queen goes to 
Cashiobury (the Queen-Dowager's) on Monday next, 
stays there till Friday, on which day she goes to Hat- 
field, and returns here on Monday. Caroline ^ is to go, 
and to stay those few days over her waiting ; the Queen 
sent this message to us this morning. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Oct. i^ih, 1846. 

Dearest Papa, — I am just come in from a long and 
most charming ride with the Queen, in the course of 
which I lost my heart most completely to Col. Seymour; 
you need not be alarmed, as Lady Emily is at Windsor, 
and he thinks of nothing but her. ... I sat with 
the Queen this morning while Leitch gave her a 

* Count Maurice Dietrichstein, Austrian Ambassador at the Court 
of St. James'. 

* Hon. Caroline Dawson. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 135 

lesson, and have since stretched four drawing-boards 
for her — my own two, and two new ones of hers. . . . 
She takes another lesson on Saturday. I was work- 
ing at a baby-shoe for Mrs. F. Anson's^ child during 
the lesson, which the Queen saw and admired, and 
said, " Would you mind making a pair for my little 
girl ? " to which gracious request I condescendingly 
acceded. ... I hear a report of a marriage between 
Fanny Devereux ^ and Mr. Cavendish Bradshaw, Lord 
Douro's friend. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Oct. 15th, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — ... I am late, as we have been 
waiting a long while for Princess Augusta and the 
Duke of Mecklenburgh, who are, like the Cambridges, 
always late. They at last arrived, and I think him look- 
ing very well, though the Grand Duchess says she is 
uneasy about him, and the Duchess of Cambridge says 
he is so cross there is no living in the house with him. 
I have no doubt she gives quite as good as she gets in 
that way, so do not pity her the least. We have been 
lionizing the Hessians everywhere to-day ; at a quarter 
to ten the Queen took the Princess and all of us to see 
St. George's Chapel, which we did most thoroughly ; 
she then went back, and we stayed there with the 
Baroness de Scheel and M. de Meysenbach for the 

* Mary Anne, only daughter of Rev. Richard Levett, m. Hon. and 
Rev. F. Anson, D.D., Dean of Chester, brother of the first Viscount 
Anson. 

• Hon. Frances Devereux, daughter of fourteenth Viscount 
Hereford, m. Thomas Cavendish Bradshaw, Esq. She was Maid of 
Honour to Queen Victoria. 



136 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

service, after which I took them over all the offices, 
through the kitchens, larders, plate rooms, china rooms, 
servants' hall, &c., so that we were pretty well tired 
and glad of an hour's rest before lunch. At half-past 
three we went out again for a drive with the Royalty ; 
came in at five, and Car and I took a little walk, and 
were just come in, and indulging in a little gossip with 
Lady Clinton, when we got the order to go and wait 
for the Mecklenburghs. . . . The Spanish marriage 
is, I hear, over;^ they all say the King behaved very 
ill about it, having promised our Queen it should not 
be unless the Queen of Spain had several children, 
but this seems a queer sort of promise to give. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Oct. 17th, 1846. 

Dearest Mama, — ... I was the whole day with 
some Royalty or other, as the Grand Duchess sat for 
her picture from eleven till two to Winterhalter, and 
I was desired to go and sit with her. The whole 
Royal party were there the first hour and a half, 
but, after the Queen-Dowager's departure, I was left 
alone with her. I had my work, Princess Helena's 
socks, with me, which were much admired by them all, 
and a great comfort to me, and the Grand Duchess 
made herself very agreeable. After lunch she had 
another sitting, and I attended again till four o'clock, 
when she went out driving with the Queen, and Car 
and I took a walk and then sat down cosily by the fire 
in my room, waiting for Caroline Lyttelton, who was 
to come and practise trios with me, when we heard 
a sharp rap at the door, and " Is this Miss Stanley's 
room ? " and in walked the Grand Duchess, saying 
she had had great difficulty in finding her way, but 

^ October 10, 1846. 



POLITICAL CHANGES 137 

was come to sing with me, or rather to my accom- 
paniment. As she had been so busy sitting all day, 
1 thought she would forget the singing, and certainly 
never dreamt of her walking quietly upstairs in that 
sort of way. However, I sat down to play, and she 
sang with a rather harsh, but true and good low voice ; 
then Car and I sang a duet ; and then Miss Lyttelton 
walked in, and looked very much confounded. How- 
ever, we sang some trios, and then Car sang with the 
Princess, and she sang alone again, and did not go tUl 
near half past-seven, so that I could not write to you. 
She was very civil and nice, played with my cup and 
ball, and said how comfortable my room looked, and 
it all went off very well. The picture is a surprise 
for the Grand Duke on his birthday to-day, which is 
the reason of her being in such a desperate hurry about 
it. I think the Queen goes to Hatfield on Thursday. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Jan. 15th, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen did not come 
till four o'clock, not having left Claremont till half-past 
two, so we need not have come so early. . . . We, 
however, with some difficulty, managed to get a chicken 
and a large dish of potatoes for luncheon, upstairs in 
our own room, as downstairs nothing was prepared ; of 
course this was a nice little grievance for Gen. Bowles, 
and we rowed him about it charmingly when he arrived, 
but he bore it with fortitude amounting to indifference. 
. . . The Hamilton Seymours* and M. and Mdme. de 
Beust are here ... he is a Saxon Minister. . . . 
The Queen asked after you all, and said all that was 

* Right Hon. Sir George Hamilton Seymour, grandson of first 
Marquis of Hertford, tn. Gertrude, daughter of twenty-first Lord 
Dacre, 



138 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

kind and sweet when I told her of your anxiety about 
Ois and Granny. . . . She asked all about it, and 
then told the Duchess of Kent about Lady Lauderdale, 
who was eighty-four, and such a delightful old lady 
everybody said. . . . The Queen tells me the family 
picture Winterhalter is doing of her, the Prince, and 
the children is beautiful, and then when I asked if Car 
and I might go and look at it, she said certainly, when- 
ever we liked. . . . One of the remarks made on Mr. 
Drummond's marriage is, how exceedingly impertinent 
of a Clerk in the Treasury, which he is, to run away 
with the First Lord's step-daughter ! . . . . ^ 

^ Maurice Drummond, Esq., C.B., a clerk in the Treasury, m. 
the Hon. Adelaide Lister, eldest daughter of Thomas, second Baron 
Ribblesdale. Lady Ribblesdale m. secondly Lord John Russell. 



CHAPTER IX 

WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 

Windsor in winter-time — Sleighing — Royal portraits — "What a fine 
gown!" — Reorganising the Royal Household — The Lord Steward 
lays the fire, and the Lxjrd Chamberlain lights it — Court 
mourning — Lady Charlemont on making appointments — Lord 
Morpeth arrives in a " bus " — A slippery floor — Ascot races — 
The Grand Duke Constantine — " A great kisser" — The " Flenzy" 
— Royal Christmas presents — An allegorical design — Anti-political 
atmosphere of a Court — The Duke and Duchess of Victory — 
Playing Patience. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Jan. lyih, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — The Queen leaves this at twelve 
to-morrow, and we both go with her, but she comes 
back on Wednesday, and the Prince goes out shooting 
on Thursday ; Princess Royal goes to town with them; 
the others stay here under the care of Lady Lyttelton. 
. . . Yesterday we had a great piece of dissipation — 
an evening party at the Duchess of Kent's ; we went 
at twenty minutes past nine, and came away exactly 
at eleven ; it was not very lively, but about as gay as 
our usual evenings ; indeed it was exactly like them, 
as the Queen had her round table as usual, and played 
at rabousa, and we all sat or stood at the other side of 
the room, while the band played in the next room. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Jan. 21st, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Lady Lyttelton is still 

very poorly, and does not appear ; she has been 

139 



140 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

suffering seriously from a brow ague since the 
influenza. 

We had a round game at the Queen's table last 
night, which we joined as the party was very small 
(the Duchess of Kent staying at home to nurse a cold), 
one I had never played before, called Lansquenet ; if 
it were played by great gamblers it might be good fun, 
but we were much too quiet for it yesterday, and the 
stakes much too low. . . . There is a subscription going 
on among the Household, servants and masters, for 
the General Fund for the poor Scots and Irish, which 
we have all been subscribing a little. It is not half 
collected yet, so I don't yet know the amount. There 
is a good deal of snow, two or three inches over the 
ground, and I hear it is much the heaviest fall they have 
had this winter. The Queen and Lady Douro went 
out in the sledge this afternoon, driven by the Prince, 
but they don't seem to have thought it very pleasant, 
as the snow was too soft and not deep enough, and the 
horses' hoofs kicked it up into their eyes, besides being 
terribly jolted every minute. . . . Car and I had 
a game of romps with Princess Royal, Prince of Wales, 
and Princess Alice in the Corridor, rolling their hoops, 
and playing with their skipping ropes ; and then we 
went to the Library and improved our minds for an 
hour. Tea and gossip followed till half-past five, 
when Bessy went down to play harp and piano duets 
with the Queen. . . . Fanny Devereux was married 
this morning, as we learnt by a letter she wrote to the 
Queen to-day,but everybody is surprised, as,though the 
marriage was known to be on again, nobody thought 
it quite so near. I forgot to tell you that last night, 
after dinner, the Queen, wanting, I think, to hear Car 
sing, desired her to fetch some music and me to play 




THE HON. CAROLINE DAWSON (AFTERWARDS LADY CONGLETON) 

After an oil painting by Gambardella (by kind permission of the 
Hon. Victor Parnell) 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 141 

the while ; when she came back we sang two of 
Mendelssohn's duets, and I accompanied her a little 
song alone. Altogether it was rather good fun, and 
the Queen and Prince were very kind. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father ^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Jan. 2.2nd, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — I was very glad to see by your 
letter that you had heard of all the dear Cremornes 
safe at Liverpool, though you were disappointed of 
the brats on Wednesday ; they will all be with you 
long ere this ; how I should like to be able to look in 
upon the family party in Grosvenor Square for a 
moment ! I have heard nothing more of our move- 
ments, so I don't know exactly when we leave this; 
in point of climate we certainly have not much the 
advantage of you, except in as much as the fog is white 
instead of brown ; but we cannot see across the Quad- 
rangle ; that is, we can faintly see there is a building 
the other side — nothing more. 

We took a constitutional for the good of our healths 
after luncheon, and then went to see Lady Emily Sey- 
mour 1 and her four children — very nice ones indeed, 
and rather handsome, of all ages from eighteen months 
to six years old. In particular, the girls have all lovely 
dark brown hair, and loads of it, with dark eyebrows. 
We were to have gone out sledging with the Queen, 
as they have a spare sledge, if the snow had lasted, 
but, alas ! for us at least, it had all disappeared by 
breakfast this morning. Yesterday we again sat at 
the Queen's table, and looked at the Prince playing 

» Lady Emily Murray, daughter of third Earl of Mansfield, m. 
Colonel F. Seymour, afterwards fifth Marquis of Hertford. 



142 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

tricks with the cards, which he does very well ; and 
Lord Spencer taught him Mama's new Patience ; 
he took it up very well and very quick, though Lord 
Spencer made a mistake in dealing out the cards at the 
end, and it all went wrong, which was rather distressing 
the first time the Prince saw it done. 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Jan, 24th, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — I am so happy to hear that the 
dear Cremornes are all safe with you, and that Cham- 
bers gave as good an opinion as you could expect of 
Oisy's case ; we must take great care of " the chick," 
as you call her, " my little Sissie," as / say, and hope 
that change of air and spring coming on will do won- 
ders for her. We have been passing off an hour of 
our afternoon as well as we could in the impossibility 
of taking a walk, by going over the state rooms, nomi- 
nally to show them to Lady Elizabeth Murray, who 
is staying with the Seymours, but in reality by way 
of taking a little exercise. Colonel Bowles aggravated 
us by hurrying us away from the beautiful Vandykes 
and from the Waterloo Gallery before we had half en- 
joyed the pictures, to show what he thought far more 
interesting, a narrow passage which they have taken off 
the whole suite of the State apartments, and which un- 
doubtedly adds much to their convenience when they 
are inhabited, by giving them a very good degagement, 
which before they sadly wanted, but which we did 
not think it necessary to admire as rapturously as he 
did, taking moreover to himself all the credit of the idea. 

We were informed three days ago that a party was 
invited for to-morrow, but it has dwindled sadly ; 
Lady Fortescue ^ excused herself, as well as Lord Liver- 

^ Lady Susan Ryder, daughter of Dudley, seventeenth Earl of 
Harrowby, w, Hugh, second Earl Fortescue. 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 143 

pool and the Clarendons, and the only guests now 
expected are Lord Fortescue, Lord Aberdeen, and 
Sir R. and Lady Gardiner.^ 

I have been looking again at the Family Picture 
by Winterhalter, and like it less than I did on a first 
view ; the colouring is extremely fine and far superior 
to what his usually is, but the attitudes are all rather 
forced and the figures very stiff ; the Prince looks 
exactly like a lay figure sitting down, and, except Prince 
Alfred and perhaps Prince of Wales, I don't think the 
children at all like. The Queen's is, however, a most 
striking likeness, even to the rather too deep colour 
of the nose. . . . Tell Mama I wore my new muslin 
worked in colours, that she gave me, on Friday, and 
one and all as they came in, from the Queen to the 
groom, admired it. I think I hardly ever saw anything 
of the kind so pretty as it is. The Queen's usual ex- 
pression is " What a fine gown ! " whenever she admires 
anything one wears ; and I see the children take it 
from her, for they were pleased to admire one of my 
gowns the other day. Prince of Wales saying, " Oh, 
what a fine gown you have got ! I must kiss it," and 
acting up to his words. The royalty indulged in a 
rubber of whist last night ; the Prince and Lady Douro 
against Lord Ducie ^ and the Queen, whom Col. Phipps 
advised. . . . Lord Ducie, who has been drinking 
tea with us, has just been telling us some most 
marvellous stories about Mesmerism and Mental 
Travelling ; he is a firm believer in all the won- 
ders of Magnetism, and has a clairvoyante of his 
own. ... 



* General Sir Robert Gardiner, K.C.B., and his wife, daughter of 
Major-General and Lady Emily McLeod. 

• Henry, second Earl of Ducie, 1 802-1 853. 



144 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
. Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Jan. 25th, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — . . , Our evening passed off 
as usual in spelling words, and to-day we have not seen 
or heard anything of our Sovereign Lady ; the Duchess 
of Kent is still too poorly to come here to dinner, but 
Count Alex. Mensdorff^ is arrived from Portugal, as 
we conclude, for the purpose of requesting our inter- 
ference in the affairs of the kingdom, in favour of the 
King and Queen ; the Gardiners do not come after 
all, so he, with Lords Fortescue and Aberdeen, are 
the only additions to the circle this evening. . . . 
How odd it is that nobody ever knows their business 
here ; on Friday, Lord Spencer ^ being by the Queen 
at dinner, and I on his other side, the Queen asked 
me across him if I recollected how, that is in what 
terms, the Maids of Honour were gazetted, as neither 
he nor she knew, and Miss Cavendish^ must be gazetted 
immediately. I, luckily, remembered the form of 
my appointment, which was approved, and Lord 
Spencer was desired to word this accordingly ; so 
you will see my words in print, in the next Gazette. . . . 

It is rather amusing to find that, in spite of the 
united efforts of the Prince Consort and Baron Stock- 
mar, who had reorganised the Royal Household, there 
was still a good deal to be desired with regard to atten- 
tion to detail. In the old days the great officers of the 

1 Count Alexander Mensdorff, K.C.B., Prince of Dietrichstein Nids- 
berg, son of Count Mensdorff Pouilly and Princess Sophia of Coburg. 

2 Frederick, fourth Earl Spencer, K.G., 1798-1857, Lord Chamber- 
lain 1846-1848. 

' Hon. Caroline Cavendish (V.A.), Maid of Honour to Queen 
Victoria, daughter of General Lord Henry Cavendish, 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 145 

Household were also great officers of State, but, as 
time went on, the two duties were separated. When 
the Queen came to the throne there were three great 
departments, the heads of which changed with every 
Ministry : that of the Lord Steward, of the Lord 
Chamberlain, and of the Master of the Horse. None 
of these officers lived permanently at Court, and 
there was no connecting link between the departments. 
The often told story of Baron Stockmar's fruitless 
embassy to the Master of the Household illustrates 
the point well. The Queen desired him to say that 
the dining-room was always cold, and the reply was : 
" You see, properly speaking, it is not our fault ; for 
the Lord Steward lays the fire and the Lord Chamber- 
lain lights it." WTien we try to imagine the army of 
servants divided up into three sections, controlled by 
three separate departments, we no longer wonder that 
royal visitors frequently arrived without any luggage 
and were sometimes found wandering about the cor- 
ridors of Windsor, looking for someone to show them 
the way. With the new regulations, however, the 
affairs of the Household were rapidly becoming better 

organised. 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 2gth, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — After all, we are not to put on 
long faces and black govms to-day for the Duke of 
Coburg ; the Duchess of Kent is in low spirits, and 
told Sir G. Cowper this morning that she wished to 
postpone all business till to-morrow on account of 
its being the anniversary of his death ; and she is 



146 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

not coming to dine here ; but the Queen is going to 
dine with us, and the Gardiners stay till to-morrow, 
and the Clarendons^ come to-day. Last night the 
Queen, with her usual sweetness, asked a great deal 
about Ois ; I dare say I was a good half-hour talking 
to her after dinner ; she was very nice and interested in 
everything ; she desired I would recommend Sir James 
Clark to Oisy's notice. She said she liked him because 
he was so attentive and paid so much attention to little 
trifles that so many of the great doctors overlooked. 

. . . We had a nice-looking old German savant 
yesterday, but as I did not sit near him, I got no further 
acquainted with him than his remarking what a mild 
pleasant day it had been ; to which I answered yes, 
but rather windy, which interesting little speeches 
passed just after Baron Stockmar, who took him in 
tow, introduced him to me before dinner. . . . 

I got such a pretty little seal from Uncle Maitland 
to-day, " in a present " ; it is gold, with a bloodstone 
engraved with a guinea-fowl and " come back" (I will 
seal this with it to show you), and a very kind wish that 
I would follow the advice of the seal soon and often go 
back to the old Castle. 

We went to the top of the Round Tower this after- 
noon, with Lord Alfred ^ in his red coat (I don't mean 
with him only ; Col. Seymour and all his children were 
there and almost all the gentlemen too). 

Court mourning, to which so many pathetic allu- 
sions are made in these letters, is certainly rather a 

1 George, fourth Earl of Clarendon, m. Lady Katherine Barham, 
daughter of first Earl of Verulam and widow of John Foster Barham, 
Esq. 

• Lord Alfred Paget, fifth son of first Marquis of Anglesea, Equerry 
and Clerk Marshal to Queen Victoria, 1816-1888, 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 147 

strange custom ; or rather the decision as to what 
does or does not constitute mourning is singularly- 
arbitrary. In 1 81 7 the slight mourning ordered for 
Princess Charlotte, after the first period of deep 
mourning had passed by, consisted of white and gold 
or white and silver stuffs, or black velvet dresses with 
coloured ribbons, fans, and tippets. In the ordinary 
acceptance of the term this is not mourning at all. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Jan. ^ist, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — I am just come in from a very- 
pleasant general walk we took this afternoon to the 
chickens and the gardens, which the Queen and Prince 
took us all over most thoroughly. They are certainly 
very good and complete and enormous. 

We are awfully gay ; we had dancing last night, 
and did not break up till near twelve, and to-morrow 
we are to have another dance at the Duchess of Kent's. 
The Clarendons, who have been expected these two 
days, never received their invitation, so Lord John 
says, and that Lord Clarendon came to him yesterday 
morning, and said, showing him the paragraph which 
announced that he and Lady C. had arrived on a visit 
and dined with H.M., " What can be the meaning of 
that ? I never heard of it." This we all laugh at 
General Bowles about, and tell him how stupid he is. 
. . . Lady Charlemont worked herself into a fever at 
luncheon yesterday about a joke of Lord Camoys,* 

* Thomas Stonor, third Lord Camoys, Lord in Waiting, 1 797-1 881. 



148 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

who said, when Car and I were agreeing we would go 
and have a swing, that he would be in attendance to 
pick us up if anything happened to us ; she took it 
au grand serieux, and threatened to tell the Queen we 
were making appointments with the gentlemen ; and 
at this moment she is convinced we were quite serious, 
and only turned it into a joke when she found fault 
with the arrangement. Is this not almost too good 
to be true ? Lord Camoys, too, with his thirteen 
children, being such a dangerous lady-killer ! 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. 1st, 1847, 

Dearest Papa, — I must direct my daily bulletin 
to you to-day, but nothing at all more remarkable 
has happened to me than putting down the Queen's 
bouquet last night in a fit of absence by Lady Charle- 
mont instead of H.M. The little incident served 
to amuse the Royal couple and a good many of the 
guests for some time at my expense, but as they only 
laughed very good-naturedly it did not depress my 
spirits much. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Feb. ^th, 1847, 

Dearest Papa, — We had a Privy Council to-day, 
and all the Ministers at luncheon in consequence, so 
Lady Charlemont was in her element, " the society 
of talented persons." Lord Clarendon has never yet 
seen his card — and it is a very tender subject with Col. 
Bowles, who is quite touchy about it. Poor man, he 
has had a sore throat these last two days, and, like an 
old bachelor that he is, he " did not think it safe to 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 149 

leave his room and come to dinner," though the other 
gentlemen all declare he is quite well ; he is, however, 
to join us to-day. When I first came, I heard we had 
done for ever with Praetorius, whose wife is in very 
bad health, but we heard nothing about a successor ; 
imagine then our horror when yesterday Baron Stock- 
mar brought in, and introduced to us all, a gentleman 
very much in the same style, called Dr. Meyer, as the 
new Praetor ! I have not yet recovered from the 
shock ! 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her M other ^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. jth, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . On Wednesday, being 
the wedding-day, we conclude there will be a great 
dinner, and something in the evening, but have not 
heard for certain. We have nobody staying here but 
Count Alex, and Lord Morpeth ; the latter having 
a most extensive assortment of huge red long neck- 
cloths ; he appears in a new one, more monstrous than 
the last, every day. Moreover, he came up from Slough 
on his arrival in a bus, burdened with his own carpet- 
bag and dispatch-box ; we all told him we were sure 
he was taken for a mere messenger, or perhaps not 
so much. Last night we had very good fun, dancing 
some wonderful new dances, going all about the house, 
promenading into dark rooms and odd corners of 
passages, where one was lucky if one did not break 
one's shins over trunks, chairs, or tables. I had a fall 
in the course of the dance, but fell very properly, and 
was picked up again, unhurt, in an instant. C. 
Lyttelton fell on the same spot (a particularly slippery 



150 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

one, by the by) a few evenings ago, so I was not singu- 
lar in my misfortunes. There was a funny figure 
when a lady and gentleman ran down the ladies' 
side holding a pocket-handkerchief by two corners, 
and the ladies were all obliged to duck under it, and 
afterwards up the gentlemen's side, these being ob- 
liged to jump over it, and some of the leaps were 
strange enough. Altogether, I don't think we looked 
very dignified, an'^ of us, if you don't think it treason 
to say so. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, June ist, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — We are just come upstairs from 
Lady Canning's room, where we enjoyed a most re- 
freshing cup of tea on our return from the Races, and 
talked over the events of the day a little. It was all 
very nice, and the sight very gay and pretty, but I 
should think it rather tiresome to have to do it every 
year ; the drive is so hot, and the entr^actes, as the 
Grand Duke Constantine ^ called the bits between the 
races, are so long and dull compared to the moment 
of the horses' running, that I am just as well pleased 
to think it only falls to one's lot once in four years. 
The Grand Duke is rather nice, and I made a good 
deal more acquaintance with him. The Prince of 
Leiningen and I are great friends, even to the extent 
of his selling me his ticket in one of the lotteries at 
a reduced price, but, alas ! it did not win. . . . We 
had such a dull evening yesterday, sitting on a sofa 
against a wall in what they call the Ballroom ! other- 
wise the party is rather a nice one, and everybody very 
kind to us. . . . My coral parasol was most immensely 

1 The Grand Duke Ganstantine, fourth son of the Emperor 
Nicholas I, 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 151 

admired, and created quite a sensation among both 
royalty and subjects. We are to have dancing this 
evening, and I am to wear my red gown, lace over 
tarlatan, with the green wreath and bouquet, and a 
bunch on the skirt. To-day I wore my seven and six 
muslin, with my white bonnet, which is very pretty 
indeed. ... I am so tired and have an evening of 
dancing before me. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanlev to her Father, 
Edward, Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday ^ June 2nd, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — I am enjoying our week of gaiety 
excessively, but shall enjoy coming home to you all on 
Friday even more. I long to be really settled, and 
begin French lessons again and resume our rides. I 
was half in hopes the Queen would have taken a ride 
this afternoon, as the Hereditary Grand Duchess of 
Saxe Weimar ^ is so fond of riding, but it is to be a drive 
instead ; however, this too is very nice, and I dare say 
we shall come in only just in time for dinner, as we do 
rot start till half-past five — so I am writing this before 
we start ; we are just come in from St. George's 
Chapel, where the Queen and the royal party have 
been, first listening to some pieces on the organ, as 
we did at Freiburg, and then going all over it in every 
part. Yesterday we danced till one o'clock ; good 
hard work but great fun — the Grand Duke Constantine 
distinguished himself particularly when I, at his re- 
quest, allowed him " L'extreme felicite de Tempeter 
avec vous " — this was the formula of invitation — the 

* Princess Marie, daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia, m. the Grand 
Duke Charles of Saxe Weimar, 



152 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

dance was the Tempete, and the romping put me in 
mind of Lord Hardwicke's account of the Imperial 
romps at St. Petersburg. We are to dance again this 
evening, and also to-morrow. Tell Mama I am going 
to wear the muslin with five flounces this evening, and 
wreath of house-leeks. . . . Lady Jocelyn has settled 
herself in Lady Canning's room here, and is charming, 
as usual, but there is nobody like Lady Canning. 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, June ^rd, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — ^We have had another beautiful 
day and pleasant drive home from the Races ; the 
drive there at twelve o'clock is too broiling to be quite 
enjoyable ; our party yesterday was quite a different 
one from the day before, as the Bedfords, Palmerstons, 
and Normanbys were replaced by the Clanricardes,^ 
Buccleuchs, and Prince F. Lichtenstein ; ^ the Princess 
was not asked, as she had been very ill, and the Queen 
did not know that she was well again, so there was a 
piece of work when it came out that she was staying at 
the inn at Windsor, meaning to go to the Races on 
her own foundations ; the Q. said she had not a bed in 
the Castle to offer her, but made her stay all day with 
us in her stand, and invited her here this evening ; this, 
however, the Princess declined, saying she was not 
strong enough yet, and would be of no use, as she could 
not venture to dance. We are to be sixty to dinner — 
and fifty or sixty more in the evening. . . . The Grand 
Duke Constantine is a great kisser, and the whole cor- 
ridor resounds with the hearty kiss he bestows on the 
Queen's wrist (he will not kiss her hand through the 

^ Ulick, fourteenth Earl of Clanricarde, and his wife Harriet, 
only daughter of the Right Hon. George Canning. 

* Prince Frederic Lichtenstein, brother of the reigning prince. 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 153 

glove) every evening at parting ; and during the drive 
yesterday he made his horse prance up to the carriage 
in which were the Queen, Princess of Saxe Weimar, 
and Lady Jocelyn,^ and said to the Princess, " Ah ! 
ma petite cousine, donnez-moi done votre main a 
baiser," which she did accordingly, though, as they were 
going at top speed, and he was making his horse flourish 
about a little to show off to the ladies, and besides had 
to push her sleeve up and her glove down to get a bit 
of arm to kiss, it was no very easy matter. He, more- 
over, embraces BrOnnow (the man, I mean) every night, 
first on one cheek and then on the other ; this I have 
not seen, as it takes place after we are gone to bed; 
but the gentlemen are all laughing and cutting jokes 
upon it. . . . 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, 
Wednesday Evening, Dec. 7,2nd, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Our journey was most 
prosperous, and the two little bits in an omnibus 
much more easily managed, particularly with regard 
to the luggage, than we any of us expected ; it was all 
packed in a beautiful little waggon with wheels, which 
was put upon a truck in Edinburgh, and just taken 
off the truck at Berwick and Newcastle, and a pair of 
horses put into it, which brought it merrily up the 
hills, much better than our horses did by us, for they 
began to back with us half way up the hill at Berwick, 
so that we all got out and walked up. Mr. and Miss 

* Lady Frances Cowper (V.A.), daughter of the fifth Earl Cowper, 
extra Lady of the Bedchamber, m. Robert, Viscount Jocelyn. 



154 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Swinton ^ travelled with us all the way, and we saw the 
deal box in which were the two chalk drawings, and 
were sorely tempted to open it and look at them. . . . 
We got home by a little past ten, rather tired, but 
very happy to think our journey was all over ; it was 
a colder day than any we have had lately, and, I must 
say, the farther south we got the more snow we found. 
. . . We are to go to-morrow to an evening party at 
the Duchess of Kent's ; it was, I believe, to have 
been a dinner, but Mrs. Lindfield's dear friend, the 
cook and housekeeper, and four maids, being laid up 
with the " Flenzy," there is nobody left to cook ; 
so we are only to go in the evening and indulge in cards 
and conversation. The Duchess of Kent looked at 
my slippers and found out, without my helping her, 
that they were intended to look like ermine ! 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, 
Thursday Night, Dec. z^rd, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — ... Sir George Grey*^ and the 
Archbishop of York came here to-day to see the 
Queen ; Sir George lunched with us, but the Arch- 
bishop came a little later, so that I did not see him. 
Lord Waterpark, who is in waiting, seemed to take 
great charge of him. Lady Canning seems to agree with 
Auntie,' Uncle Anthony^ and I about Dr. Hampden, 
in thinking it a great pity it was ever mooted ; she 

^ James Swinton, 1816-1888, portrait painter. 
2 Sir George Grey, only son of the Hon, George Grey, third son of 
Charles, first Earl Grey, 1799-1882. 

^ Lady Eleanor Balfour of Wittingham. 
* Admiral Hon. Anthony Maitland. 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 155 

told me that, as far as the Dean of Hereford's petition 
went, it was drawn up in the plural number with the 
intention of its being signed by the whole Chapter ; 
but of the ten Canons seven were for Dr. Hampden,^ 
and the other three could therefore do nothing ; so 
the poor Dean was left all alone. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Casti:e, Saturday, Dec. 25th, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — A merry Xmas, and many happy 
returns of the day to you and all the family at the dear 
old Castle. Yesterday evening we were desired, at 
a quarter to seven, to come down to the Corridor, to 
get our Gifts ; we found all the gentlemen and Mrs. 
Anson already assembled, and presently the page 
desired us to go to the Oak-room, where the Queen 
and Prince already were, standing by a large table 
covered with a white cloth, in the middle of which 
was a little fir-tree, in the German fashion, covered 
with bonbons, gilt walnuts, and little coloured tapers. 
I send a bonbon as a Christmas box to little Blanche, 
which I took off the tree. Round this were all our 
presents, with the name of each person, written by 
the Queen on a slip of paper lying by the present ; 
Caroline's and mine were two very pretty little chains 
for round the neck, with a hand in front, which holds 
the ring, to which is fastened a heart or locket ; mine 
is in carbuncles and little diamonds, and Caroline's in 
Pave de Vienne, of the same pattern. We also got, 
in common with all the others, a new print of the 

1 Dr. Renn Dickson Hampden, 1793-1868, whose orthodoxy was 
called in question. The Dean of Hereford and one Canon voted against 
his appointment to the See of Hereford. 



156 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred in Highland costume, 
from a sketch by Sir William Ross, and one of the 
Queen, from a water-colour drawing by Winterhalter ; 
both very pretty, but the latter the best ; the children 
are hardly done justice to in Ross's. They are both 
lithographed by Thomas Fairland,^ Lord Rosebery's^' 
friend. We also each got an almanac and some ginger- 
bread. Some of the presents were very pretty ; Col. 
Grey got a set of carbuncle waistcoat buttons ; Genl. 
Bowles a lovely set of pearl studs, and a gold pocket 
book ; Lord Waterpark a very handsome seal, and 
Lady Canning a blue enamel bracelet with ruby and 
diamond clasp. After we had got ours, we followed 
the Queen and Prince to see their own presents, and 
the children's and the Duchess of Kent's. The latter's 
were, little statues of Princess Royal and Princess 
Alice, the size of life, from the Queen and Prince, and 
some other little trifles. The Queen's were the hand- 
somest ; some of the things very pretty, particularly 
a large drawing from one of Overbeck's cartoons, and 
several small bronze copies of old statues, the Her- 
cules, &c. There were also some blue and diamond 
brooches, the Duchess of Kent gave her, very pretty. 
The Prince's were also very nice ; the Queen's gifts 
were a small picture by Landseer, of herself and the 
two eldest children, standing by the Lake at Ardver- 
ikie, with a Highland man and pony near them — a 
beautiful picture ; also a little sketch of a Magdalen 
by Winterhalter, very pretty. The children had each 
a little table with their new toys, and were running 
about in great glee showing them off ; Prince Alfred, 
in a glorious tinsel helmet that almost covered his face, 

* Thomas Fairland, 1804- 185 2. 

* Archibald, fourth Earl of Rosebery, 1 808-1 868. 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 157 

was shooting us all with a new gun, and Princess 
Alice was making us admire her dolls, &c. They 
had one Christmas tree among them, like us, but the 
Queen, Prince, and Duchess had each one, and alto- 
gether I never saw anything prettier than the whole 
arrangement. In the evening, as the Duchess was 
not very well and did not come to dinner, we sat 
at the Queen's table, and I never hardly saw her talk 
so much ; a great deal about drawing, apropos to 
which she made us all laugh by telling us that when she 
sat to Thorburn for the first time, she and the Prince 
had a great deal of trouble about the attitude in which 
Princess Alice, who was sitting on the Queen's lap, 
should be painted in, as they did not like Thorburn's 
idea, which was to have her arms spread out ; so that 
the child was really in the shape of a cross ; and 
when the picture was finished, and they observed this 
to him, he said, " Yes, I meant it to be allegorical, 
to represent the Church leaning upon the bosom of 
the State (!!!) so I thought the Church was better 
represented by a Cross ! " . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Dec. 28th, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — We have got a nice party in the 
house just now; Lord Canning is still here. Lord 
Palmerston and the Due de Broglie^ came yesterday, 
and I have been listening all breakfast time to his 
description of Versailles and Fontainbleau, and ad- 
miring his beautiful French ; the Duke and Duchess 

* Achille, third Due de Broglie, Prime Minister of France in reign 
of Louis Philippe. 



158 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of Victory (Espartero) ^ came this evening, and the 
Abercorns^ came yesterday, to stay a whole week, an 
unheard-of thing in the annals of Windsor history. 

... I wish I could tell you and Mammy any 
news about Jews or anything amusing ; but there 
is something anti-political in the atmosphere of a 
Palace, and the once or twice I have heard the Jews 
mentioned, the very word seemed to bring on a dead 
silence. About Hampden people are not quite so 
cautious, some blaming the appointment in every 
way, some not so much, but all I think agreeing 
that they think it a great pity he was named. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Dec. 2gth, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — We saw in this morning's paper 
that Dr. Hampden was elected. 

The Duke and Duchess of Victory dined here 
yesterday, but went down to Slough instead of sleep- 
ing here, meaning to go to London by mail train at 
3 A.M. ; they were to sail this morning at seven, for 
Spain, as I understood. They were dreadfully afraid 
of going back, and said the people were so changeable, 
nobody was safe for long ; she is very fat, but dark, 
and must have been handsome. He looked like a 
ghost, and they say he is in very bad health, and was 
particularly ill yesterday. Lord Palmerston was say- 
ing they have now been away from Spain five years 
(I had no idea it was so long), during which time 

^ Baldomero Espartero, Duque di Vittoria, Captain-General of 
Basque provinces, 

* James, Duke of Abercorn, 1811-1885, m. Lady Louisa Ruesell 
(V.A.), second daughter of John, sixth Duke of Bedford, 



WAITINGS IN WINTER-TIME 159 

they have lived on 14,000 francs a year, which they 
had of their own, refusing all assistance from anybody 
and selling her jewels from time to time, to be able 
to feed some of their countrymen in distress, of whom 
a good many lived upon them. He also said, Espartero 
was perhaps the only public man in Spain who had not 
increased his own fortune during his ministry. . . . 

P.S. — Lord Ormonde came into waiting yesterday, 
leaving Lady Ormonde^ and the children alone at 
Kilkenny Castle — great courage I think. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Dec. ■^oth, 1847. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We sat at the Queen's 
table yesterday. Edward and I helped her to play 
Patience ; she tried it three times, and did not suc- 
ceed once, and was really very fatient about it. . . . 
I see by the papers that the Bishop of Oxford has 
written a letter to say he has stopped the legal pro- 
ceedings against Dr. Hampden, and that he is satisfied 
of his orthodoxy ; in this case I think he was rather 
in a hurry when he first signed the protest, and then 
instituted legal proceedings against Dr. H., if he 
meant to do nothing but eat his words so soon. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Dec. 31s/, 1847. 

Dearest Mama, — We had rather a pleasant even- 
ing yesterday, though the Prince, with Lord Abercorn 

» Frances, eldest daughter of General the Hon. Sir Edward Paget, 
G.C.B., m. John, second Marquis of Ormonde. 



i6o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and some other gentlemen, went up to town to see 
the Westminster boys act a Latin play ; they left 
this at four, dined at Buckingham Palace at six, went 
to the play at eight, came home at ten, and instantly 
started by post for Windsor, which they reached at 
a quarter past twelve. We are quite in the classical 
theatrical line just now, for to-morrow evening, I hear, 
we are to be amused by hearing Antigone recited (I 
hope not in the original Greek, but in a German 
translation) and the Choruses in it, which Mendel- 
ssohn has composed, sung by the Choristers of the 
Chapel. I hear the Queen goes to Claremont on 
Monday, Jan. loth, so we shall be dismissed on that 
day. . . . 



CHAPTER X 

AN EVENTFUL YEAR 

A Latin play — Jane Eyre — Twelfth Night festivities — Revolution in 
France — The Chartists — Osborne — An old courtier — Queen's dread 
of sea passage — " Un succ6s negatif " — Throwing the cabard — 
Drives in the Isle of Wight — Carisbrooke Castle — ^Trumping your 
partner's best spade — Lady Wilde's play — The Queen's round 
table — The Queen has chicken-pox — Opening of new Coal Ex- 
change by Prince Consort with Prince of Wales and Princess 
Royal — Loyalty of an alderman — Vaccination — ^Was it small- 
pox ? — Thanksgiving service — Planting Deodara pines — Mrs, Ed- 
mund Kean — A small stage. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, 
Friday Night and Saturday Morn., Jan. ist, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — I have nothing particular to tell you, 
but cannot miss writing on New Year's Day to wish 
you every sort of happiness during the year which has 
this instant begun, for I hear the bells striking up merry 
peals in honour of it, and the clocks striking twelve. 

Prince Lowenstein is here, and I like him too, 
very much ; he only came to-day, so I do not know 
how long he stays, but I suppose till Monday. To- 
morrow morning we shall be pretty busy . . . and 
then to be ready to go with the Queen at half -past 
nine to the riding school to see the Royal Christmas 
bounties distributed, which will probably last an hour 
or two, and very likely more, I don't see how I could 
write to-morrow morning. The gentlemen declare 
the Latin play was charming (Westminster School) ; 
it was the Brothers, one of Terence's ; and they all 

161 T 



1 62 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

declare their classical learning served them so that 
they followed every word ; they had French trans- 
lations on the opposite side of the page, but none of 
them looked at them, oh dear no ! The Antigone 
is to be read in English to-morrow night, by a Mr. 
Barclay, a comic actor ; I fancy it will be what Ed. 
calls very deadly. Have you heard of a novel called 
Jane Eyre ? ^ everybody here is talking of it : some like 
it, some abuse it, but all say it is very clever, and 
wonder who wrote it. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Jan. 4th, 1848, 

Dearest Papa, — I must write to you to-day, 
though I owe both you and Mama more than one 
letter and this morning's post brought me one from 
each of you, giving an account of the punch- drinking 
on New Year's Eve, which sounds very jolly — indeed 
to me, accustomed as I now am to the gravity and 
sedateness of Windsor life, awfully dissipated. . . . 

The Abercorns are gone and are a great loss ; 
she had brought all her books with scraps of Land- 
seer's to show the Queen, and allowed me to look at 
them, which was a great treat. 

. . . We are now quite alone, but expect the Duke 
of Cambridge to-day ; I don't know about the Duchess. 
We are all in mourning for a week, for Mme. Adelaide, 
so all my nice coloured things are put to flight. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Jan. 5th, 1848. 

Dearest Mama, — ^The Cambridges are here, the 
whole family, Duke and Duchess, Prince George and 

1 Charlotte Bronte published Jane Eyre in 1847, under the pseu- 
donym of Currer Bell. 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 163 

Princess Mary, the latter really very pretty; she is 
fairer than me, with loads of hair, a skin like lilies 
and roses, and dark eyelashes and eyebrows. Prince 
Frederick of Hesse is here too. . . . Mme. Adelaide 
died of influenza, and rather suddenly, that is, they had 
no idea she was in any danger, though she was very 
poorly with it ; but she went to sleep one night, as 
they supposed, and never woke again. All the un- 
fortunate visitors were taken by surprise about the 
mourning ; Lord De La Warr and E. Mildmay both 
appeared in blue coats, having no black ones, and it 
is much to be doubted whether Lord D.'s messenger 
will be able to catch Lady D. so as to give her notice 
to come in black. The Queen Dowager has given 
the royal children a beautiful little barouche, big 
enough for them to drive about in, drawn by a Shet- 
land pony ; I met them in it yesterday taking their 
first drive in it ; Princesses Royal and Alice sitting 
forwards, Prince Alfred backwards, and Prince of 
Wales on the box, pretending to be driving the pony, 
though this was in reality done by a groom who 
walked by its head. Mdlle. Gruner and a footman 
completed the cortege, and the children were in per- 
fect raptures, screaming with delight. 



Windsor Castle, Friday, Jan. yth, 1848. 

Dearest Mama, — We had grand fun yesterday 
evening ; first of all the Twelfth Cake, which was 
really quite beautiful, and must have taken a life- 
time to make, and secondly, after we had all admired 
and partaken, we were all ushered into the White 
Room, next door, where we first stood round the 
dish of raisins by the light of a farthing candle, which, 



i64 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

as soon as the brandy would take fire, was put out, 
and we had nothing to light us but the blue flame. 
We all grabbed a raisin or two, in fear and trembling, 
the gentlemen being by far the most timorous, and 
spluttering us all over with blue flame in their fright ; 
after which, they threw a quantity of salt on the flame, 
which made it burn up with a most livid colour, so 
that we all looked like nothing earthly, but, in our 
black gowns, like walking corpses, or like the statue 
in Don Giovanni. It seems this is a common joke, 
but as I had never seen it before, I was very much 
amazed ; and really no words can give you an idea 
of the livid colour it gave one. The prettiest thing 
was to see how, as we walked into the brightly-lit 
drawing-room next door again, we all gradually re- 
sumed our natural colour. ... I am going this morn- 
ing to see the Queen's school, with Mrs. Anson; it 
is by way of a perfect model, and they teach the girls 
cooking, baking, sewing, washing, cleaning grates, 
scrubbing floors and a quantity of other things, besides 
reading, writing, &c., and expect to turn them out 
first-rate servants. . . . 



The year 1848, which had begun so pleasantly at 
Windsor, was destined to be one of revolution abroad 
and unrest at home. Louis Philippe, who was de- 
throned in February, arrived at Newhaven in disguise 
on March 2, and immediately wrote to the Queen 
throwing himself on her protection. This event 
struck the Queen a severe blow, both in her monar- 
chical principles and in her family affections. The 
Queen of the Belgians being a daughter of Louis 




•a 
s 



S'^ 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 165 

Philippe, she obtained King Leopold's consent to 
offer Claremont, which that king still possessed in 
virtue of his first marriage with Princess Charlotte 
of England, to the exiles. To the Due de Nemours 
she gave another royal residence at Bushey, and he, 
as well as his brothers the Prince de Joinville, and the 
Due d'Aumale,* became frequent guests at Windsor 
and Osborne. 

In Germany, Italy, and Austria the revolutionary 
spirit was also rife, and it seemed likely that it was 
about to flame up even in peaceful England. " Great 
events make me calm," the Queen wrote to the King 
of the Belgians on April 4 ; nevertheless she allowed 
her Ministers to persuade her to go to Osborne when 
there was a fear of disturbance from the Chartists, 
half a million of whom had announced their intention 
of forcing their way into Parliament with a monster 
petition. The Chartists met on Kennington Common 
on April 10, but the meeting was badly attended and 
dispersed quietly ; the agitation was at an end. 

The following letter is the first that we find 
written from Osborne House, which the Queen had 
bought of Lady Isabella Blatchford' in 1845. The 
foundation stone of the new house had been laid 
in June 1845, but it was not completed until 1851, 
the Queen and Prince being, in 1848, still very much 

* Sons of King Louis Philippe. 

• Lady Isabella Blatchford, widow of Barrington Blatchford, Esq., 
sold the Osborne property to Queen Victoria in 1845. 



i66 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

occupied with arranging the new rooms and laying 
out the grounds. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Monday, April loth, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Just as Lady Canning and 
I were quietly settled in our drawing-room after break- 
fast, in walked the Prince to see how our rooms were 
arranged for the third time, and to look at what spaces 
there were for pictures ; we consulted with him for 
two hours or more, running up and down stairs, 
measuring panels, and discussing the respective merits 
of the different pictures. He walked into all our 
rooms, going, however, through the ceremony of 
asking our leave ; and looking at all our arrangements, 
and on the whole, very agreeable, seeming so pleased 
at working himself, pushing the piano, tables, &c., 
about to see how they would look best. . . . Lady 
C. took me all over the Pavilion, as they call the 
Queen's house here : we live in the adjoining house, 
and have to take a little run in the open air to get 
from one to the other. It is really very nice ; the 
drawing-room is particularly pretty, with a bow- 
window opposite the fireplace, and statues of the four 
oldest children round it between the windows. At 
one end, beyond some pillars, is a billiard table, and 
all about are stuck a quantity of their own things, 
that have been presents to them at different times. 
Upstairs, on the staircase, is a huge fresco by Dyce,* 
which I think dreadful ; it is an allegory, something 
of all the gods and goddesses bringing things to Brit- 

1 William Dyce, 1 806-1 864, 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 167 

annia ; this last is in a yellow gown — but all the others 
are in the Royal Africa, minus the boots ; they 
mostly have headdresses of classical shapes, instead 
of the helmet ; but as the skins are all dark mahogany 
colour, it looks so unnatural that one does not feel it 
very shocking. ... I hear the K. Common meeting 
ended very flatly after all, by their sending up their 
petition quietly in three cabs, and am very glad of 
it. We have been quite excited about it all these 
days. I hear Lord John says, and does not care who 
knows it, that he sent away the Queen, that is, advised 
her going. Lady Canning and I agree in thinking 
it very cowardly, but the gentlemen mostly are all on 
the -prudent side, as they call the cowardly one. . . . 



Osborne, Friday, April 14W, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I am very well amused, but 
feel more idle than I can describe ; Lady Jocelyn 
and I sit and gossip over our work all day, except the 
necessary bit of walking and letter writing, and Lucy 
Kerr * and Lady Lyttelton are always dropping in and 
helping us to waste our time. . . . The sea is deli- 
cious. . . . 

. . . Are you not amused at the difference be- 
tween Windsor and Osborne ? Here we may pleasure 
about in every direction, even along the public roads, 
they are so quiet, and we think nothing of tHe-d- 
tite walks, a thing that would make everybody's 
hair stand on end at Windsor. Poor Lord Alfred is 
in bed with a bad cold in his head, and has been send- 
ing for Nux Vomica to me ; I hope it has done him 
good ; but he will eat mustard and cucumber, so I 

* Hon. Lucy Kerr, Maid of Honotir to Queen Victoria. 



i68 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

am afraid the Nux could have little effect. . . . The 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Hereford, 
and Mr. Courtenay are coming here. I already fancy 
myself sitting opposite the Queen at dinner between 
the Bishop and the Arch, which will be my fate to- 
morrow, I suppose. . . . 

Osborne, Monday, April 17th, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Yesterday was a thoroughly 
dull evening ; the Prince, Lord Alfred, General 
Bowles and Col. Seymour played at four-handed chess 
at one corner of the room, far away from us ; we, 
that is, the Queen, the Archbishop, Lady Jocelyn and 
I, sat at a round table big enough for twelve, and made 
conversation, and once, while the Queen was looking 
the other way, I detected Lady J. giving such a yawn 
that I thought she must dislocate her jaw. . . . 



Osborne, July i6th, 1848, 
Dearest Papa, — This is the most lovely of days, 
so bright and warm though not the least oppression 
as I maintain, though it is the fashion to think the 
weather just now awfully hot here. Lord Alfred is 
going to town to-day for the rest of the month, as 
Lord John says he must help to make a house, and 
members are so remiss in their attendance that if 
they don't take care, the session will be prolonged by 
losing days ; so we have given up Lord A. and nabbed 
Genl. Wemyss, who came yesterday by chance on 
business, and after swearing to all the household that 
he neither could nor would be kept, and must be at 
Norwich to-morrow on indispensable business, when 
the Queen and Prince asked him this morning as we 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 169 

stood at the breakfast-room window inside, and the 
Royal pair on the walk outside, instantly replied that 
it would give him the greatest happiness, and that 
the thing he most wished was to be prevented going 
to Norwich, and topped up by vowing he would much 
rather go and look at plans for Windsor with the 
Prince than eat the beef-steaks and prawns which had 
just appeared for breakfast, and he actually, without 
tasting a mouthful, went out and stayed there till 
half-past eleven, the old courtier ! But I always tell 
you it comes upon one in their presence, as the sun- 
shine brings the flowers out in spring. We all had 
a good laugh at the dear old General, though. The 
Queen sails from here on Wednesday, August ist, 
as she has no thoughts of proroguing Parliament in 
person. . . . They go to Falmouth on the ist, or per- 
haps may not get there till the 2nd, Cork on Friday, 
3rd, stay there Saturday, 4th, and get to Dublin by 
Monday, 6th. The Queen can talk of nothing but 
her dread of the voyage, and says she gets worse 
every time she sails, and every year resolves she will 
never go again, and every year finds she somehow 
cannot help going. . . . We are going directly in a 
barge to see the Hindostan^ a frigate, afterwards the 
Queen takes a drive. . . . The whole of the Royal 
babbies, except the baby, dine at two when the parents 
lunch, and Mr. Birch comes to luncheon with us all, 
here, and with the gentlemen elsewhere. . . . 

Osborne, July 18/A, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — We have just had all the Cabinet 
and M. Drouin de I'Huys^ to a Council and luncheon, 

1 M. Drouyn de I'Huys, 1805-1881, French Ambassador at the 
Court of St. James'. 



lyo TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and Lord Lansdowne said there was to be a great 
gathering of Irish Lords at Dublin for the Queen's 
visit as he heard. The Cabinet has gone home again, 
all but Lord L. and Sir George Grey, who stay all 
night. They are much the best part of it, so we are 
lucky. 

OSBOEKE, July 20tk, 1 848, 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We have got the Nemours 
here; they arrived much later than was expected 
yesterday afternoon, which was a bore, as we had to 
keep in sight of the house to receive them ; however, as 
the day was showery, I don't know that we lost much. 
He and the Prince played a little at billiards in the 
evening, and when the Queen asked him if he had 
had " du succes " ; he said he had had " un succes 
tout-a-fait negatif " — meaning he had got well beat 
— was it not a rich French idea ? . . . 

Osborne, Saturday, July 21st, 1848, 

Dearest Papa, — ... I had heard last night about 
Lola Montes;^ they say that Mr. Heald has about 
jf 14,000 a year, but is rather soft and silly, which was to 
be expected of a man who could do such a thing. . . . 
The Duchess of Kent did not come yesterday, not 
being well enough ; she is expected to-day, which is 
a bore, just in the middle of the Fete. There are 
great preparations made for it in the way of tents, 
on the lawn, and I dare say will be great fun. It 
begins with a dinner at three to the workpeople, &c. 
... I came upon MacDonald, the Prince's Highland 
valet, yesterday, showing some Southrons how to 

1 Lola Monies, created Countess of Landsfeld by King Ludwig I 
of Bavaria, 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 171 

throw the cabard, that is a tree, as we saw them try 
to do at Inverness ; and I must say he himself did 
it very well. I daresay there will be some sports of 
the kind to-day. We had Sir G. Hamilton Seymour 
here to dinner yesterday ; and after dinner we had 
a great deal of music. I played, and then the Queen 
sang alone, I accompanying, then she and I sang, and 
then the Duchess of Nemours^ and the Queen. . . . 
We all appeared in pink yesterday, except Lady 
Charlemont, with green leaves in our hair, only mine 
were sham, and the Queen's and Duchess's were real 
ivy. Their gowns were pink bar6ge with white 
flounces ; mine was my pink and black, and I am happy 
to say it was considered the prettiest. . . . 

Osborne, Tuesday, July 24th, 1848, 

Dearest Papa, — ^We had such a lovely long drive 
yesterday afternoon in the char-a-banc ! The Prince, 
Prince of Wales and Princess Alice were in the first 
seat, the Queen and Princess Royal in the second, and 
Lady Canning and I in the third. We drove to Ryde 
first, passing the Priory which belongs to Lady Downes 
and Quar or Chor Abbey a pretty ruin, and then down 
or through Wooten to St. Clare, the lovely little place 
that the Harcourts (Lady Catherine) ^ live at ; I never 
saw so pretty a spot. The house is picturesque, and 
the ground falls in a steepish slope from the house to 
the sea, and the whole of that part is terraced and laid 
out as a flower garden with quantities of rare shrubs 
and plants. . . . The Harcourts were not at home, 
but Mr. Vernon, the one we know, came in while we 

* Princess Victoria of Coburg, tn. the Due de Nemours. 

' Lady Catherine Harcourt, eldest daughter of Charles, last Earl 
of Liverpool, m. Col. the Hon. Francis Vernon Harcourt, ninth son of 
the first Baron Vernon, Equerry to H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent. 



172 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

were walking about the garden and we met Col. 
Harcourt and Lady C. coming in from their drive 
very soon after we got out of the place. . . . The 
char-a-banc has one of the drags that one can put 
on without anybody getting down, and the person 
in the second seat has the management of it ; yester- 
day it happened to be the Queen, and she enjoyed 
it amazingly, and there was great fun about it, though 
now and then, when she was busy talking of other 
things, we went down some very steep places without 
the drag. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Saturday, July 28th, 1848, 

Dearest Mama, — The Duke of Cambridge and 
Duchess of Gloucester are both gone, and we are 
quite alone just now, which is rather pleasant. . . . 
Yesterday afternoon we took a pleasant drive about 
the grounds and the immediate neighbourhood, the 
Queen and Duchess in a little pony carriage and the 
Duke, Lady Canning, Lady C. Murray and I following 
in a char-a-banc, the Prince and two Equerries riding. 
The weather was delicious, and I was rather too warm 
in my, or rather your, black barege shawl, which the 
Queen at first sight took to be an Indian and thought 
I should die of, but was rather comforted when she 
heard it was only barege. 

. . . The whole Royal family, children. Queen and 
all, seem to be out the whole day long ; I don't be- 
lieve the Queen thinks of reading a despatch or of 
doing anything in the way of business, further than 
scribbling her name where it is required, while she 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 173 

is here, and she told Lady C. " she had not read out 
of a book since February" — she draws a good deal, 
and walks about and enjoys herself. The children 
dine and tea in the garden, and run about to their 
heart's content, and yesterday evening they, assisted 
by their august Papa, and sanctioned by the presence 
of their royal Mama, who was looking on, washed a 
basketful of potatoes, and shelled a ditto of peas, 
which they are to cook for themselves to-day if they 
are good. Did you ever hear of such happy children ? 
(P.S.) — We are not to wear white gowns for a 
fortnight, so my white and black muslin will be of 
no use. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Sunday, July zgth, 1848. 

Dearest Papa, — I got a few lines from Caroline 
Dawson this morning to say she would be quite ready 
to come on Thursday to take my place here, so I 
shall depart with the Messenger at one o'clock on that 
day. Lady Canning and I took a delicious drive to 
Newport and Carisbroke Castle yesterday afternoon, 
and walked all about the Castle in every direction, 
saw the window King Charles tried to jump out 
of, and the well 300 feet deep, and the wretched 
donkey that draws the water, and picked lots of fern 
and wild flowers and enjoyed ourselves very much. 
Lady Ormonde dined here ; Lord O. is in Ireland, 
where she means shortly to join him, but to leave 
the children here, as Kilkenny is such a bad part. 
Lady Waterf ord ^ is not gone yet, but wants sadly to 

1 Hon. Louisa Stuart, second daughter of Lord Stuart de Rothsay, 
m. Henry, third Marquis of Waterf ord. 



174 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

go to join Lord W., but he says he will not let her 
come for another week, and then, if matters don't 
get worse, perhaps he may let her come. Theirs is 
rather a disturbed part too. 

. , . Last night we had a game of whist, not a 
rubber, as it was very late, before we broke up ; we 
cut for partners, and the Prince and Queen played 
together, and the Prince once scolded her abominably 
for trumping his best spade, but she took it very 
sweetly, and only laughed, and said she was always 
afraid of playing with him because he always scolded 
her. . . . 

The next letter bears a date a year later than the 
preceding. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, July 15th, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — We got here quite safe after a 
prosperous and beautiful drive from Ryde. The 
Queen and Prince came running in from the garden 
to see the Duchess ; she, very smart in a white gown 
with flounces and a yellow silk mantelet, covered with 
lace, and he in a " Costume de Jeune Homme a la 
Campagne," consisting of a coat (shooting jacket, 
rather) the colour of curl papers, trousers the colour 
of whitey brown paper, and boots of a dirty white 
shade with little black tips — no waistcoat, and a 
straw hat. His blue riband did duty for a waistcoat. 
. . . Lady Georgina Bathurst ^ and the Duchess were 

^ Lady Louisa Georgina Bathurst, eldest daughter of Henry, third 
Earl Bathurst, Lady of the Bedchamber to H.R.H. the Duchess of 
Gloucester. 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 175 

very full of Lady Wilde's ^ play ; they say Lady W. 
herself was most distressed at it ; but that, though 
not so dreadful as the world says, it was certainly 
very bad. In the middle. Lady Jersey ^ began to gasp 
and appeared faint, and rushed out of the room, 
followed by Clemmy ; ' when she explained that she 
was quite well, but could not let Clemmy stay, and 
did not know how else to get out ! 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Tuesday, Oct. 2yd, 1849. 

Dearest Papa, — We have got the John Russells and 
Abercrombys,* rather a pleasant party. . . . 

The Queen- Dowager is just the same, and Bright 
seems to think that it is not quite so immediate as 
had been thought ; and he added that he feared she 
had yet a great deal of suffering to go through, the 
cough and oppression are at times most painful ; she 
has also had an attack of spasms, which is a cruel ad- 
dition to her other illnesses. The Duchess of Saxe 
Weimar (her sister) and her two daughters are in 
constant attendance upon her, assisted by a regular 
nurse at night. This sounds comfortable at least, 
so far that she is not left to servants and strangers. 

Great news. Col. Grey succeeds Col. Phipps as 
the Private Secretary, and Col. Phipps ^ is to be Privy 

* Jane, daughter of Archdeacon Elgee, m. Sir W. R. W. Wilde. 

* Lady Sarah Fane, eldest daughter of John, tenth Earl of West- 
morland, m. George Child, fifth Earl of Jersey. 

' Lady Clementina Child Villiers, second daughter of fifth Earl of 
Jersey. 

* George, third Baron Abercromby, m. Hon, Louisa Hay Forbes, 
daughter of John, Lord Medwyn. 

6 Colonel the Hon., afterwards Sir, Charles Phipps, K.C.B., second 
son of first Earl of Mulgrave. 



176 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Purse, and Treasurer to the Prince. He will have to 
give up the Equerryship, which makes a vacancy. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Oct. 2^th, 1849, 

Dearest Papa, — ... I don't know why, but the 
dullness of our evenings is a thing impossible to de- 
scribe. The Queen and Ladies sit at the round table, 
and make conversation, and Flora ^ and I sit at our own 
table and work ; and the Prince generally stays in 
the other room talking with the Gentlemen till near 
bed-time ; then he comes in, with one or two big- 
wigs, who sit at the Queen's table, where they sit 
till she gives the move at half-past ten, then the other 
gentlemen make a rush from the whist-table or from 
the other room, and we gladly bundle up our work, and 
all is over. Cards at the Royal table seem quite given 
up ; and it is only occasionally that four of the gentle- 
men escape to their whist; they mostly stand with 
the Prince in the Red Drawing-room, where the band 
plays. The accounts of the Queen-Dowager were 
decidedly better yesterday, she seems to have made 
a regular rally for the time. I really think we shall 
open the Coal Exchange on Tuesday next now. 

In the autumn of 1849 the opening of the Coal 
Exchange excited public interest. The Queen-Dow- 
ager's condition was considered so grave that it was 
much feared the Queen would not be able to perform 
the opening ceremony ; but, in the end, it was the 
Queen herself, whose illness, a severe attack of chicken- 
pox, interfered with her public work. 

^ Hon. Flora Macdonald, fourth daughter of twenty-fifth Chief of 
Clanranald and Lady Caroline Macdonald. 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 177 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Oct. 26th, 1849. 

Dearest Mammy, — How often these last ten days 
we have thought the poor Queen-Dowager's death 
would put a stop to the Coal Exchange business on 
Tuesday ! And now she is rather better, if anything, 
and will probably linger some time longer, but the 
affair is put off, because our own little Queen has got 
the chicken-pox ; and though it is very mildly — indeed, 
so mildly that she is up as usual, and I met her out 
walking this afternoon — still I suppose she would hardly 
be able for a fatiguing day like that on Tuesday ; I hear 
she is dreadfully vexed and provoked at it, and besides 
the infection might be an objection. She stopped 
on the walk when I met her, and said I must not 
come near, and laughed, and asked me if I had had it, 
but of course I said no. We are to go to the Coal 
Exchange as soon as ever the Queen is better — 
I daresay the end of next week — but the day is not 
fixed. . . . 

Windsor, Saturday, Oct. iyih, 1849. 

Dearest Papa, — ^The Queen-Dowager seems going 
on just the same, very ill, but not likely to die im- 
mediately. . . . The Queen had the children with 
her yesterday, as usual, at dinner and in the after- 
noon ; from which one would conclude she did not 
object to their catching it (the chicken-pox); on the 
other hand, Mr. Birch got a message yesterday morn- 
ing begging him to keep away from Eton, because 
some of the boys have got it down there . . . the 
two things were rather amusing, happening the same 
day. They have not been with her this morning 
yet. . . 

M 



i/S TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. 28th, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . All Windsor knows the 
Queen has got the chicken-pox, though it has never 
been in print yet. She was rather bad yesterday, 
having had a feverish, restless night, but to-day she 
is better. The Coal Exchange business is all to go on 
for Tuesday, but the Queen and we are not to go ; 
Sir James Duke ^ was here yesterday in a dreadful way 
about the disappointment and all that sort of thing, 
and the waste of ;£5000 which it would occasion if 
all their preparations were wasted ; and the Prince 
at last said very well, and that he and the two eldest 
children would go, and Lady Lyttelton and Mr. 
Birch to take care of them. . . . The accounts of 
the Queen-Dowager are a little better to-day. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Oct. ^oih, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We really have had a 
most lovely day. ... I am so glad of it for the City's 
sake ; they all started at ten this morning, and I see 
they are just come back (five o'clock). I wish I could 
tell you some particulars, but you will see everything 
in the papers. . . . The poor little Queen was sadly 
vexed at not being able to go, and at her two children 
making their first appearance at any public thing in 
State without her. 

She has sent me word to keep out of her way — a 
gracious message which I carefully obey. . . . 

^ Sir James Duke, first Baronet, Lord Mayor 1848-9, 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 179 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Oct. 31s?, 1849. 

Dearest Papa, — The Queen is declared quite well 
again. . . . She has sent me a lot of messages about 
my catching it, and said I might go for a few days. . . . 
I shall just stay and take my chance. . . . 

The Coal Exchange was most prosperously opened 
yesterday, and Princess Royal told her dresser, Lind- 
field, that it was very nice being the only great Lady, 
everybody made such a fuss with her, and the Lady 
Mayoress presented such a quantity of ladies to her, 
and she felt quite like a little Queen. The only draw- 
back was that, owing to some confusion, there was no 
separate lunch for them, and they had to prepare 
one at the last moment, and she said she got no pud- 
ding, which was very hard. One old man, an Alder- 
man or something of the kind, who brought them some 
wine, and handed a glass to the Prince of Wales, 
begged to be allowed to shake hands with him, which 
he did, and the old man was so overcome with his 
feelings that he burst into tears, and rushed away ex- 
claiming it was the proudest day of his life. Altogether 
the loyalty was great, especially shovm towards Prince of 
Wales, and both the children behaved very well. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Nov. 2nd, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen dined with us 
last night, though she said she was such a figure she 



i8o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

was ashamed to appear ... all redness is gone from 
her skin, but she had five or six little black deep-look- 
ing marks on her face, that I almost think will 1' 
slight dint for life. Is it not rather odd not ciic of 
the children has taken it ? On Monday the Palmer- 
stons and M. Drouin de I'Huys are coming, so we are 
getting into our usual habits. The Queen is very 
anxious you should know she gave me my choice of 
going, in case I should catch it. She looked at my 
new drawings, Dryburgh, Osborne, &c., and begged 
me to do one of the Kennels and the fine group of 
elm they are built under ; so I accordingly went this 
morning. . . . The Queen- Dowager is just the same, 
there is no real hope of recovery. . . } 

Windsor Castle, Saturday, Nov. ^rd, 1849. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We are to have a houseful 
on Monday and all next week — the Westmorelands, 
Palmerstons, CoUondos, Drouin de I'Huys, and Cam- 
bridges. Sir James Clark has a convenient theory, 
that chicken-pox is only catching while it is coming 
on, and therefore all danger is now over from the 
Queen. ... 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Nov. 4th, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen sent Sir James 
Clark to me yesterday, to decoy me into consenting to 
be vaccinated, and I have yielded, though very re- 
luctantly, as all the house is going to be done. Her 
spots are still very bad. The reason of the fuss about 
vaccination is that they have dinned it into the Queen's 
ears that they have got a bad kind of small-pox in 

* She died 2nd December, 1849, 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR i8i 

Windsor — the confluent, they call it ; and they keep 
worrying and bothering her about it, so that I only 
wonder hearing so much about it does not give it 
her. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 
Windsor Castle, Monday, Nov, 5th, 1849, 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Queen issued a general 
order to the whole house to keep away from Windsor 
and be vaccinated. I rather think she sets the ex- 
ample herself — at least I know the children are to be 
done ; and we too, as I yielded after a little resistance 
to Sir James Clark, whom the Queen sent to talk me 
over. The hardest thing is that there are such lots 
of people here this week, and if it should really take 
an evening gown, tight across one's arm, will be hardly 
bearable. . . . Mama thinks I was quite right to 
stay here and not mind the chicken-pox, " only," she 
winds up with, " don't scratch your face. ^^ 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 
Windsor Castle, Tuesday, Nov. 6th, 1849. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Mme. CoUondo dined and 
slept here last night, and was very sweet and civil, but 
an extraordinary figure ; a violet brocade gown, with 
no berthe or covering above but the tippet of pearls — 
a red velvet round hat with a white feather and loads 
of diamonds, last night — and this morning a pea-green 
broche silk, with a nightcap of embroidered muslin 
lined with light blue silk, and trimmed all round her 



1 82 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

face with deep full frills of plain tulle, like a baby. 
They are gone for good, and I hear we are to have no 
new Minister, but only KoUer for a charge-d'affaires. 
There was a Privy Council to-day, to settle a day and 
form of Thanksgiving, as the cholera is over — all the 
Ministers almost, except the Greys and Lord Minto ; ^ 
the Archbishop came too, and I sat by him and found 
him charming. We were vaccinated too to-day ; after 
the Royal babies, the four eldest were done, and then 
Mr. Brown and the vaccine baby came to us. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Wednesday, Nov. 7th, 1849, 

Dearest Mama, — Madame Drouyn de I'Huys and 
M. her husband were here yesterday but left this 
morning ; she is rather pretty and a pleasing, civil 
little woman, talking most lovely French. 

We have been drinking tea with Lady Augusta 
Cadogan,^ where Princess Mary ' walked in and made 
herself excessively agreeable for an hour and a half, 
chatting, and latterly, after I had been prevailed upon 
to favour the company with a few tunes, playing and 
singing herself, both very nicely. 

Windsor Castle, Friday, Nov, glh, 1849; 

Dearest Mama, — ... He (Mr. Birch) dines with 
us to-day, being P. of Wales's birthday ; there is to 
be quite a large party of the Household — Seymours, 
Phipps, Wemyss, Lytteltons, &c. This morning we 
went out to see the two regiments parade ; they were 
in the Home Park, close in front of the Terrace, and 

1 Gilbert, second Earl of Minto, at this time Lord Privy Seal, 1782- 
1859. 

* Lady Augusta Cadogan, elder daughter of George, third Earl 
Cadogan, Lady in Waiting to H.R.H. the Duchess of Cambridge, 

* H.R,H, Princess Mary of Cambridge, 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 183 

the Life Guards were on foot, and looked too handsome 
altogether. All the children were there but Princess 
Alice, who is really very poorly with the chicken-pox, 
having really taken it on Wednesday night ; but she 
was looking at it all from a window. Prince of Wales 
has got it too, out on his arms, but it is not bad yet, so 
he was out with us all ; poor little man, it would have 
been too hard if he had not been able to come on his 
own birthday. One of the others, they say, has symp- 
toms of it ; and I thought so this morning by the way 
in which the Queen kept them away, putting herself 
always between us and them, instead of telling them, 
as usual, to come and shake hands with us all. She 
also went down a different staircase — her own private 
one — making us all go round and meet her at the great 
gate, so that we should only be near them in the open 
air. Mdme. Van de Weyer has never had it either, 
and said she was in a dreadful fuss at coming, but does 
not feel half so frightened now she is near it. 

P.S. — I was rather amused at your surmise about 
the Q.'s small-pox ; I hardly think she can have had 
it, as she was so little really ill, but the thing that made 
me give in, for at first I flatly refused to be vaccinated, 
was Sir J. Clark telling me that the rash, as the Queen 
had it, approached so nearly to the small-pox rash, 
that it might give the latter to any of us, and saying 
that was the reason he was so anxious about it, but I 
don't believe the Queen knows this. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Monday, Nov. 12th, 1849, 
Dearest Mama, — I am so amused at you all talking 
of the Fast Day on Thursday. It is not a Fast, but a 
Feast of Thanksgiving and rejoicing at our deliver- 
ance ; I can't think what you mean by a Fast Day. 



1 84 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Queen is to go to St. George's in State for it, so 
we shall, of course, stay here till after luncheon and go 
with her. . . . The three Royal children with the 
chicken-pox are getting well through it, but it is 
dreadful how one meets them everywhere, as they are 
allowed, it seems, to play about the corridor all day, 
instead of doing lessons and going out : and Prince 
of Wales went to afternoon church yesterday for the 
first time in his life. I do hope I shall not just take 
it now, but I think there is much more chance of it 
from those tiresome little brats that roll about every- 
where, and wrap themselves up in all the curtains to 
play at hide and seek, than there ever was from the 
Queen herself. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Feb. loth, 1850, 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We had great fun on Friday, 
planting an avenue of Deodara pines ; I send you a 
list of the planters : keep it, as I have no copy and it 
is rather a nice thing to have. . . . Mine is No. 7 on 
the Thames side, farthest from the Castle, and I 
shall visit my tree every time I come here. The play 
was really remarkably pretty ; the second piece, 
Charles XII, most amusing, and all the decorations 
and dresses, of course, very nicely got up. Mrs. 
Kean's^ acting in King Renins Daughter, I thought 
very good, otherwise the piece is rather a dull one. 
Edmund Phipps^ was there, looking much pleased with 
his performance and the honour done to it ; he is the 

^ Miss Ellen Tree, m. Edmund Kean, 1805-1880, 

• Hon. Edmund Phipps, third son of second Baron Normanby. 



AN EVENTFUL YEAR 185 

translator. Altogether it was much gayer and plea- 
santer than I expected, and I suspect much more so 
than Julius Casar was, the preceding week. The stage 
is certainly rather too small ; and the Prince made us 
laugh by telling us what nice measurement had been 
necessary to ascertain if the Senate could sit, and 
Caesar die, at the same time, as Caesar was a tall man. 
It was, however, luckily found just possible. The 
company had all taken their places before the Queen, 
and we all came in, which saved a good deal of time ; 
and after all was over, the guests were admitted into 
the tea-room, where the Queen did the civil to them, 
and by half-past eleven we were all in our rooms. . . . 



CHAPTER XI 

THE YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 

Engagement of a Maid of Honour — ^Lady Lyttelton's successor — Part- 
ing gifts — Macaulay's essays in private — Radowitz — ^The French 
princes — Improvements at Windsor — Treasures in the Castle — 
The General's trouting stream — A jolly Household dinner — ^The 
Royal children — Shakespeare a clever fellow — A striking dress — 
Osborne — Political complications — Improvements there — The coup 
d'etat in Paris — The President's loves — Christmas at Windsor — 
The Seals of Office, 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. joih, 1851, 

Dearest Papa, — I received Mama's letter of Wednes- 
day this morning, in a dreadful state of curiosity about 
Lady Lyttelton's successor, and truly sorry am I that' 
I cannot in any way enlighten her, as it seems a for- 
bidden subject, and I have not yet seen the Greys, 
besides I daresay they would be as discreet as the rest 
of the Court. It is pouring, or I should have gone to 
pay them a visit. On the other hand, I have a real 
authentic piece of news for you, viz. Caroline Dawson's 
marriage to Mr. ParnelP . . . his brother, Lord 
Congleton, is married, and has no children. . . . Her 
successor is to be Miss Byng,^ Lady Sefton's cousin 
or niece, I am not sure which. . . . The children 

* The Hon. Henry Parnell, second son of first Baron Congleton, 
afterwards third Baron Congleton. 

' The Hon. Beatrice Byng, second daughter of Vice-Admiral Hon, 
Henry Byng, fourth son of Viscount Torrington, 

186 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 187 

acted a little play yesterday afternoon, but unluckily 
we did not see it ; but I heard it was very pretty, and 
their dresses were charming. Princess Helena, as a 
Marquis of the Vieille Cour, with powdered wig and 
sword, was particularly admired. It was a little 
French play, and they say they did it very well indeed. 
The Queen made a great many inquiries after Mama 
and Ois, and very particular ones after Granny. She 
is not looking in beauty by any means, her face is so 
brown, and she looks much older than she used ; but 
she has always the same sweet smile and pretty manner 
when she speaks. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 12th, 1851. 

Dearest Mama, — This has been a nasty rainy 
afternoon, but we went out in spite of it, Miss Sey- 
mour and I, and visited the Deodara avenue, which 
seems prospering and has all our names neatly written 
on little boards, each in front of his or her tree. It 
was raining hard when we came in, but we were not 
the only people who disregarded it, for we met the 
Queen, Prince, children. General Bowles, Lord Water- 
park, and the Greys with little Sybil, all going on in 
different parties, never minding the rain. . . . 

The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. i^th, 1851. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I don't think you would any 
of you forgive me if I did not send you without loss of 



1 88 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

time the enclosed, which I have just received from 
Colonel Grey, and which settles all your doubts. It 
was very kind and nice of him to write me that little 
line. . . . 

{The enclosure) 
Dear Miss Stanley, — I am sure you already know 
it — but the other half of my mystery is that my sister 
Caroline Barrington^ succeeds Lady Lyttelton. It is 
now settled. — Yours ever, C. Grey. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 15th, 1851, 

Dearest Mama, — ^We had rather an amusing even- 
ing yesterday with Lord Aberdeen, Sir G. Grey, and 
Mr. Macaulay.^ Ld. A. sat at the Queen's table. Sir 
George played at whist with the gentlemen, but the 
Right Hon. T. B. stated in his sententious manner 
that he did not like any species of game, and that it was 
a marvel to him how men could, by way of relaxation 
from severe study, sit down to what was in reality a 
far greater exertion of intellect and strain on the mind, 
viz. whist. He was consequently solemnly handed 
down the room and presented to us in state, and seated 
at our table, by Gen. Bowles, and there he remained, 
speaking essays all the time till eleven. In the course 
of the evening he informed us several times that he was 
a hermit, hating society and loving solitude only, and 
that, therefore, he always lived in London, that being 

* Lady Caroline Grey, third daughter of Charles, second Earl Grey, 
m. Captain the Hon. George Barrington, R.N. 

* RightHon. Thomas BabingtonMacaulay, created Baron Macaulay 
1857, 1800-1859, 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 189 

the only place where one has no neighbours, and the 
solitude of Pall Mall being the only real one he was 
acquainted with. All this is a little too laboured to 
be quite agreeable ; besides, one has read it in books 
too often to wish to hear it again. This morning at 
breakfast he spoke another essay or two, but was rather 
amusing on Nineveh and the cuneiform inscriptions, 
saying that in those days people, instead of printing a 
book, published a bridge or a street ; pamphlets might 
be the front of a house ; indeed, that in those days the 
new side of Buckingham Palace would have been " a 
new edition, with the author's latest additions and 
improvements." But he is a little tiresome. He 
has just made us all agree that we will go over 
the State rooms and the whole Palace. Miss 
Seymour has not seen it yet, and he put it upon 
that, but one word for her and two for himself, we 
all think. 

Lady Lyttelton is going to-morrow ; she feels the 
parting from all she has lived with for so many years 
. . . the Royal children have given her a parting gift of 
a bracelet, with miniatures of them all, in medallions 
all round it ; the Duchess of Kent has one the same, 
and they are very pretty, and she is very much pleased 
with it. We had Radowitz^ here on Monday — a 
clever, keen-eyed man, but very fat ; he is a first-rate 
mathematician, but withal a regular German that 
leads you into endless discussions and refinements 
about things that don't signify ; rather of the theo- 
retical mystical school. He treated me to a long dis- 
course on the rise, progress, and decay of old Greek 
sculpture and Italian art, in later days — drawing a 
parallel between the two, rather well worked out. He 

• Joseph von Radowitz, 1 797-1 853. 



190 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

began in French, but broke into German in the middle, 
the excitement getting too great for the foreign language. 
We have been all over the State rooms and were par- 
ticularly amused at the neat little contrivances for 
dressing-rooms for the actors, near the temporary 
theatre in the Rubens Room ; partitions of blue and 
white ticking being run up, five or six in a room, and 
neatly furnished with dressing-tables, glasses, &c., 
under the special direction of General Bowles. Mr. 
Macaulay and all the visitors were with us, and, of 
course, an essay went on all the time. Lord Aber- 
deen's short, dry, humorous remarks make a most 
amusing contrast. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. igth, 1851. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We have got the Aumales 
and Nemours here, but they go to-morrow afternoon 
back to Claremont, after spending their morning in 
hunting — the gentlemen on horseback and the ladies 
in a carriage. I trust they will all come home safe, and 
are not such bad horsemen as they are shots ; our 
gentlemen say that really it is a service of the utmost 
danger to go out shooting with them, particularly 
with the Duke of Nemours. And, like M. Duchatel, 
they blaze away at any or every thing, but unlike him, 
they don't hit the birds ; there is a great joke against 
one of these French princes, that, in his excitement in 
looking after woodcocks, a blackbird getting up close 
to him, he banged both barrels at it, missed, and was 
going to take his spare gun from the loader to try again, 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 191 

when he was stopped by seeing our Prince and all his 
gentlemen in fits, and Turner in a towering passion, 
at his exploit. We — that is Miss Seymour and I, the 
Duchess (of Norfolk) having gone home tired — walked 
yesterday afternoon to the farthest part of the Home 
Park up to Datchet Bridge, from which it is only 
separated by a road and wall ; they are making all that 
part, which they have only recently taken in, very nice, 
and a great addition to the private walks and drives. 
We met there the whole Royal party, and this morn- 
ing, after church, the Prince began to talk about it, 
and he told us that it is pretty well settled that the 
towing path, which was the great obstacle, is to be 
done away and steam tugs substituted, a new bridge 
built nearer Windsor for the new road, and the present 
one shut up, so that the private grounds will go down 
to the water side ; this will certainly be a great addi- 
tion, and the Castle looks very imposing from all that 
part, overhanging the steepest part of the slopes. As 
the Prince very justly remarked : " It was a question 
of money, like most things, and we have at last managed 
it." The General's (Bowles) trouting stream is in a 
state of great forwardness, but looks awfully thick and 
green ; however, there was a cartload of trout put in 
on Thursday last, and they are not all dead yet. The 
Queen, I must tell you, is as wicked as the Household 
about quizzing the General on the subject of his trout- 
ing stream, which makes us more unmerciful than 
ever. . . . Friday next is fixed for one of the plays ; I 
believe it is to be As Tou Like It. I am ashamed 
to say I should have preferred 7he Critic, which was 
the last acted here. But the whole thing is always 
amusing. 



192 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Ihe Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, /a«. 2is^, 1851, 

Dearest Mama, — We had immense fun last night 
playing at Mouche, a sort of whist on a wide scale, for 
there was no company and so we sat at the Queen's 
table ; but not a little of the fun arose out of the good 
Duchess's mistakes. It was a set off against the dullness 
of Sunday evening, which Miss Seymour and I spent 
in solitary grandeur at our table, the Queen and Royal 
visitors, with the Duchess of Norfolk, filling her round 
table, and the gentlemen most unsociably preferring 
hanging round tl\e fire in the outer room to coming to 
talk to us. 

The Queen of the French came over yesterday to 
luncheon, or rather just after it ; she was looking 
remarkably well, and she and the French Princes, &c., 
all went home together. We are to have two farces 
on Friday next ; and As Tou Like It is to be on the 
following Friday. . . . 



^he Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 22«5, 1851, 

Dearest Papa, — ^There never was such winter 
weather seen certainly as this ; so bright and lovely, 
and yet with a light and pleasant feeling of freshness. 
This morning we, having appointed the General to 
await our pleasure at half-past eleven, went all through 
the plate rooms, kitchen, china rooms, where the ;^ioo 
Sevres plates were, as usual, exhibited by our General ; 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 193 

library, miniature and print rooms ; these last were 
in course of arranging when I was here last year, and 
now they are nearly finished, and certainly very fine 
collections ; there are about one hundred volumes of 
original drawings by the Old Masters, among which 
are sixteen volumes by Guercino, eight by Carracci, 
and so on. They were bought by George III, but not 
presented to the Museum with his Library by George 
IV ; Mr. Glover has arranged the whole most beauti- 
fully, and they are now busy in gradually binding and 
sorting the prints. This afternoon, a pony carriage 
for two having come round for us three ladies, by mis- 
take, I stayed behind ; and as the Queen and Prince 
were just gone out driving by themselves another way, 
I thought I should have the place all to myself, and 
went down into the new part of the Home Park, to 
sketch the Castle, with a couple of fine old elms ; the 
sketch, as far as it has gone, is rather successful, but 
I was excessively sold as regards keeping the things 
secret, for first came Colonel Drummond ^ and Lord 
Ormonde, then General Wemyss, then the Queen and 
Prince themselves on their way home, having left the 
pony carriage close by, and finally General Bowles, all 
of whom made appropriate observations on the draw- 
ing, and began or finished with the original remark 
" that I should catch cold." 

. . . Yesterday we had a most jolly Household 
dinner and evening ; several of the gentlemen went 
to some music at Mrs. Canning's, one of the Canons 
and I entertained the others with a few songs ; after 
which, by a little gentle pressing, we made Lord 
Ormonde treat us to some Irish songs, one about his 
" Cruishkeen Lawn " or little white jug of whisky, 

» Col. Berkeley Drummond, extra Groom in Waiting, 

N 



194 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and another about the merits of Kilkenny, its lads, 
and its black-eyed dame — 

" Whose cheeks are like roses and lips just the same. 
Like a dish of ripe strawberries smothered in crame." 

You may imagine how we all applauded, even our 
good stiff Duchess. ... It is to be The Loan of a 
Lover and another farce on Friday next, and As Tou 
Like It on the 31st. . . . 

Windsor Castle, /an. 24/A, i 851. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The evening, though very 
pleasant, and the farces amusing, was not marked by 
any remarkable events. The dinner was at a quarter 
to seven punctually ; Princess Helena came in, and 
stood by the Queen all dinner time, and when we went 
into the drawing-room we found there the two other 
eldest Princesses ; they were all dressed in light grey 
silks, with flounces, and black necklaces, and looked 
very nice. Presently in came Mr. Birch with the two 
little Princes, in kilts, looking darling ; the jacket part 
black velvet, and the kilts and stockings black and 
white plaid. Mr. Birch, I believe, has the charge, or 
nearly so, of Prince Alfred now, as well as the Prince 
of Wales, and he seems to like it better than when he 
had only one ; and indeed, so young as they are, one 
tutor between them is quite enough. They are both 
very nice-looking boys, and very gentlemanlike, always 
a good thing. I thought it was rather nice of Princess 
Royal, when the Duchess of Kent sent her across the 
room to beg Lady Minto to sit down (you know she 
can't stand), she delivered her message, and then as 
Lady M. took a place on the sofa, the child, of her own 
accord, arranged a cushion that was in her way, and 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 195 

put it all comfortable. At ten minutes past eight we 
all walked into the Rubens Room, the theatre ; and 
the five children took their places on the steps below 
the Queen and Prince's chairs ; Princess Helena only- 
stayed one act ; Prince Alfred, the first piece, and the 
other three to the end of both plays, but went away 
directly after, the Queen staying a little in the tea-room 
to speak to the company. The children kissed the 
Queen's and Duchess of Kent's hand as they went off 
to bed, the Duchess, however, bestowed a kiss upon 
each of them besides ; the Prince only patted their 
cheeks and heads. . . . The best of the two pieces of 
last night, was, I thought, by far, ^he Loan of a 
Lover ^ which was excellent fun ; the other was 
amusing, but Kean's part was a stupid sentimental 
one, and he ranted rather too much in it, and Mrs. 
Kean ditto. The Keeleys^ were excellent in both. 

Windsor Castle, Feb. ist, 1851, 
Dearest Papa, — We had a very pleasant evening 
again last night. The classical entertainment amused 
me far more than I expected, and I liked the Keans' 
acting in Rosalind and Jaques better than in any other 
part I have seen them in ; moreover, I arrived at the 
conclusion that Shakespeare was certainly a very clever 
fellow. I had some notion of this fact before, but I 
never felt so sure of it as I did last night. The 
Duchess of Kent came to dinner, but went away 
before the play ; she was so upset the day before by 
hearing of the sudden death of Lady Fanny Howard's 
(her Lady in Waiting, a Suffolk) brother, that she 
could not get over it enough to enjoy any gaiety. She 

* Robert Keeley, 1793-1869, and his wife, formerly Miss Mary 
Goward, 1806-1899. 



196 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

is a kind-hearted, good creature, certainly. . . . The 
dear little Royal chicks looked very nice, and every- 
thing was like the Friday before. . . . The Duchess 
of Sutherland's dress, black silk, covered with guipure, 
two flounces, of which the upper one came out of her 
waist, with an enormous black point appearing very 
plainly over it, but being a part of the back of her 
gown, and looped up everywhere with sunflowers, 
yellow ones, all correct, with green leaves, stuck about 
her skirt, sleeves, body, head, and everywhere, was a 
grand sight. I thought they were yellow cactuses, 
but I heard her explaining to Lady Wilton 1 that they 
were sunflowers, and adding that " Lord Anglesey ^ has 
just asked me the same question, and I told him what 
they were. I wish I had thought of adding that they 
turned to him ! " — !!!... Did you not say some- 
thing about the German article in the Edinburgh 
being Bunsen's ? I believe not, I hear Mr. R. M. 
Milnes^ owns to it, and takes compliments on it, when 
they are offered, but I suppose he got a little crammed 
by Bun sen for it. 

The year 1851 was drawing to a close when Eleanor 
Stanley went to join her Royal Mistress at Osborne. 
It had been an eventful one in many ways, for it had 
witnessed political complications as well as the epoch- 
making Great Exhibition, which drew all nations to 
England in May. The realisation of the Prince 
Consort's great scheme made the first of May a red- 

* Lady Margaret Stanley, daughter of Edward, twelfth Earl of 
Derby, m. second Earl of Wilton. 

* Henry, first Marquis of Anglesea, 1768-1854. 

^ Richard Monckton Milnes, created Lord Houghton 1863, 1809- 
1885, 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 197 

letter day in the Queen's almanac : " The proudest and 
happiest day in my happy life," she wrote in her diary. 
Of the political complications it is impossible to 
speak adequately in a few words. Lord John's Gov- 
ernment had come to an end in February and Lord 
Stanley had been asked to form a Conservative 
Cabinet. He declined to take olhce, thinking he had 
not enough support, and suggested a reconstruction 
of the late Ministry. A fusion of the Whigs and 
Peel's party was then thought of, but abandoned, and 
Lord John was recalled. The chief difficulty still lay with 
Palmerston, who had always gone against his Sovereign's 
wishes and had frequently acted without her knowledge. 
He disagreed with the Prince and herself on nearly 
every question of importance. He had formerly treated 
the Portuguese difficulties as a Coburg family affair, un- 
worthy of his attention ; he excited the wrath of Austria 
by his sympathy for Kossuth and he then publicly ap- 
proved of the Coup d'Etat, which conferred the supreme 
power on Louis Napoleon. Lord John demanded his 
resignation, and there is an amusmg account in the 
letters of the manner in which the Seals of the Foreign 
Office were handed over to his successor. Lord Granville. 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. ibth, 1851. 

Dearest Mama, — I got here in very good time 
yesterday at about half past three, having made a 
most successful journey, finding trains, boats, flys 



198 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and everything in their proper places ; as usual we 
arrived at the Waterloo Bridge Station, to even Papa's 
great amusement, just in time to see the train before 
ours start ; but as he justly remarked, that gave him 
plenty of time to get the tickets and look for the Queen's 
Messenger. I was dressed in my blacks^ for the jour- 
ney, and my coal-scuttle bonnet looked very killing, 
when once it was on, and deep enough for a widow, 
with its festoons of crape round the edge. It was 
really rather becoming, having white roses inside. . . . 
Our evening's amusement was first Harp and Piano 
duets between Lady Douro and me, and then whist 
at the large round table, at which her Majesty and I 
won fourteen points, 3/. 6^., and we only play three- 
penny points, in two rubbers. The other poor crea- 
tures. Lady Douro and the Prince, did not get a single 
game and they thought it very dull. I thought it 
very pleasant. I am happy to see the Queen has given 
up revoking, and trumping her partner's aces ; though 
she still asks how often each suit has been played and 
how many trumps are out. ... I am quite surprised 
at the warmth here ; there are good fires everywhere 
and rooms and passages all most comfortable ; it is 
quite a new thing, for we used always to be perished in 
waiting ; and last night the Queen and Prince were com- 
plaining of the coldness of the day, while I had been 
thinking it was soft and nice. . . . The ground round 
the house has been a good deal levelled and improved, 
and the house itself is quite finished and now very nice 
inside ; but they are still working near the house at an 
enormous mound, which is to contain a reservoir of 
water and which is by no means a pretty object ; nor do 
I think any turfing or planting out can ever make it so. 

* The King of Hanover died November 18, 1851. 



^y^^'^St !' "':ft .'^'f^^^vl?^., 



y\. 




THE DUCHESS OF WELLINGTON 
By kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Wellint;l<>n 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 199 

Osborne, Dec. i8th, 1851. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Lady Ely is very gentle and 
amiable . . . she has her adventures and the state of 
Paris in general to talk about ; she says people did not 
seem to care much about the President, except just 
the Demidoffs, Douglases, and his own people, and 
that teas and soirees are going on just as usual, except 
on Thursday last, when no carriages were allowed in 
the streets, and the ladies therefore had to stay at 
home. Thiers is supposed to be in England, having 
only made believe to be on his road to Prussia ; they 
say he was to be in London yesterday. Altogether 
they seem to be in an awful mess at Paris ; and most 
of the English are wisely quitting it ; they say two 
or three Englishmen have been killed, or are missing ; 
it is supposed by chance shots in the streets. The 
cavalry is said to be more devoted to Louis Napoleon 
than the infantry ; but they say it is only the men who 
have much attachment for the President, or rather for 
his name ; and that his affairs are by no means to be 
depended on ; it would appear that they, like every- 
body else in France, are only kept steady by the doubt 
of what would happen if the President were upset, as 
there is nobody to take his place directly, and every- 
one is afraid of the confusion that might take place in 
the interval. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. i8th, 1851. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I hear Lady Normanby 
writes that the President is sure to have an over- 



200 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

whelming majority — so I suppose it will stand for 
the present. Louis Blanc went over to Paris, and it 
is not clear whether he has stopped there, or whether 
he was caught at Paris and is enjoying the seclusion of 
Ham ; he is certainly not at large in Paris, and not 
come back here yet. ... 

Windsor Castle, Dec. 2is<, 1851. 

Dearest Papa, — When we started (from Osborne) 
it was quite fine and continued so all day, so we en- 
joyed our drive in the char-a-banc down to Cowes 
and our calm pleasant crossing in the Fairy to Ports- 
mouth ; all the ships manned their yards and fired 
royal salutes, and it was altogether a fine sight, as 
there are a good many men-of-war and others about 
Portsmouth. We passed through Clarence yard from 
the Fairy to the special train which was waiting for 
us, and got to Basingstoke in an hour ; then we had 
to get out of the narrow gauge carriages and walk a 
few yards to the broad gauge line which joins the 
Great Western at Reading, and another hour brought 
us to Windsor. . . . Lady Caroline and Mary Barring- 
ton are come back, they arrived yesterday afternoon 
and Col. Grey with them ; but as there has been a 
great deal done to the Norman Tower and they are 
afraid the rooms might still be damp, Mrs. Grey is 
not to come for a fortnight or more. Lady Caroline 
says Lady Grey can talk of nothing but Granny and 
how she enjoyed her visit to Thirlestane. 

. . . The President's love at Paris is the red- 
haired Miss Erskine,^ and not the pretty one ; but I 
hear the artists say there has been nothing seen so 

1 Millicent, younger daughter of Hon. John Kennedy-Erskine of 
Dun, second son of Baron Ailsa, afterwards first Marquis of Ailsa, 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 201 

handsome since the days of the " Arnica," &c., and 
the President says " EUe me plait, parcequ'elle est si 
garden," and she was supposed to look very low and 
anxious about him during those days that he exposed 
himself so much. It seems much talked of in Paris, 
and Lady Augusta Gordon * is called " La belle-mere 
du President " ; Lord Frederick * smiles and says, " He 
certainly admires her much, but I don't know that 
there is anything in it." They say she does tear up 
and down the ball-rooms, with her petticoats tucked 
up, and her glass in her eye, quite like a gar^on. . . . 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. 24th, 1851. 

My DEAREST Mammy, — . . . We are perfectly dying 
to know what our presents are to be. . . . We shall get 
them and see all the trees before dinner. . . . Lady 
Caroline Barrington has been in a great state, helping 
the Queen to arrange and select toys and things for 
the children. I saw some of the things for the elder 
ones yesterday, but they, of course, are too old for 
toys ; what I saw was books, work, both crochet and 
cross-stitch, and a quantity of very smart gilt and 
illuminated notepaper with envelopes to match, which 
it seems is what pleases the children most, to write 
to their foreign cousins upon ; also a colour box for 

* Lady Augusta Fitzclarence, daughter of William IV and Mrs. 
Jordan, widow of Hon. John Kennedy-Erskine, m. secondly Lord 
John Frederick Gordon, third son of ninth Marquis of Huntly. Her 
two daughters were married on the same day, 17th April 1855, the elder 
to the second Earl of Munster and the younger to James Hay Wemyss 
of Wemyss. 

• Lt. -General Lord Frederick Fitz Clarence, second son of William 
IV and Mrs. Jordan, 



202 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Princess Louisa. . . . We had three Hanoverians 
yesterday to dinner . . . they came over a fortnight 
ago to announce the accession of George V to the 
throne of Hanover,^ and return home immediately 
after Christmas. . . . Miss Erskine has written to Miss 
Graham, contradicting the report of her marriage to 
the President — so I suppose something has passed 
about it. We are all anxiety to know why Lord 
Palmerston is dismissed ; and cannot help supposing 
Lord John's flying visit here on Monday afternoon 
was to settle all about it, but have heard nothing but 
the Times account — Lord Granville will, I have no 
doubt, do it very well. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward, Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. I'jth, 1851, 

Dearest Papa, — I have not written to you for a 
perfect age, chiefly, I think, because it struck me the 
descriptions of Christmas trees and bonbons were more 
naturally addressed to Mama and dear Granny than 
to you. On Thursday night, Christmas, the dessert 
consisted almost entirely of the most lovely bonbons, 
dogs, men, steam-boats, &c., and the table was aban- 
doned to pillage, everyone coming away loaded with 
spoils. The younger Royal infants were there during 
all dinner-time, the elder ones only came in to dessert. 
Princess Royal and Princess Alice looking very nice 
in little wreaths of holly ; the little ones went to bed 
directly after dinner, but Princess Royal and Prince 
of Wales sat up till ten ; you can't think how simple 
and happy all the Royalty looked, just like any other 
family, of the most united and domestic tastes. Yes- 

^ Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover, d, 
Nov. 18, 1851, and was succeeded by his son George. 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 203 

terday we spent a very pleasant morning . . . and 
after luncheon, where we saw all the Ministers, and 
Lord Granville, we drove out. . . . When we started, 
we left all the Castle in a state of excitement, and a 
hue and cry going on after Lord Palmerston, who was 
at first reported to be in a room by himself, like a 
naughty boy " en penitence " : but when we came 
home, at five o'clock, we found the Council only just 
over, and the Queen and Prince sallying forth on a 
coldish moonlight walk. Lord Palmerston never 
having made his appearance, and the Queen and 
Council having waited two hours, at last thought 
the best thing to do was to proceed to swear in Lord 
Granville, Lord John luckily having got Lord P.'s 
seals of office in his pocket. It is not yet known what 
prevented his coming, and it seems the turned out are 
expected to come and see their successors put in ; I 
should say, however, he had had as much experience 
of going in and out as most of them, and consequently 
ought to know how to behave under the circumstances. 
. . . There are many reports about him, and a rather 
strong one of his having been coquetting a great deal 
with the Protectionists, and meaning to make up to 
their side ; and if, as everybody says, they never can 
bring in Protection itself again, there is no very strong 
obstacle to his joining them. You know he has always 
been very thick with Dizzy, and the Morning Post has 
always been very civil to him. . . . You seem never 
to dream of anybody being to succeed Lord Palmerston 
but Lord Clarendon ; you will know before this that 
it is Lord Granville ; but did you never hear that they 
were supposed to be keeping Lord Clarendon in case 
Sir G. Grey's health, which was so much shaken last 
year, should fail, to succeed him in the " House " ? 



204 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. 2gth, 1851. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The last, and I think, most 
authentic report about Palmy's going out is that Lord 
Normanby was surprised and puzzled at finding Lord 
John Russell's letters say one thing and Lord P.'s 
quite another, and wrote him to say so, which made a 
blow up between Lord John and Lord P., which, of 
course, ended in the latter's resignation. Report 
further says he is very angry and considers himself very 
ill-used ; he, however, sent an apology yesterday for 
keeping the Queen and Government waiting on 
Friday, saying he did not know he was expected in 
person, having sent in his seals to Lord John (which 
he did) ; and, of course, adding how shocked and 
grieved he was at the mistake, &c. . . . To-day we 
walked . . . during which time Mr. Birch poured 
out his sorrows to me ; I am really very sorry for him 
and for the two boys, who dote upon him, and who 
do not yet know he is to leave them, though it is to 
be the week after next, at latest ; perhaps next week. 
... I had a long letter from Mdme. Serviere yester- 
day ; there seems to have been, and still to be, a great 
deal of fighting going on round there ; and she says 
there is no hope of peace or safety for them, if Napo- 
leon, as she calls him, is not elected. I was quite 
certain she was all for him. . . . There is a horrible 
report that old Count Mensdorff ^ is in a bad way. . . . 
I am afraid we shall be in for another three months' 
mourning by the time our grief for the K. of Hanover 

^ Count von Mensdorff Pouilly, who married, in 1804, Princess 
Sophia of Coburg. 



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r WINDSOR CASTI.E, JANUARY i6, 185; 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 205 

is over, or at least mitigated ; the Q. said to Lady C. 
Harrington the other day, that she had been nine 
months in mourning each year for the last three or 
four, and had lost ten uncles and aunts since her 
marriage ; and Lady Caroline said that if she had not 
been afraid it would hardly have been respectful, she 
felt much inclined to ask, "And pray, Ma'am, how 
many more have you to lose ? " . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. ist, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We got all these joy-wish- 
ings and congratulations among ourselves over last 
night, having literally danced out the old year in a 
very merry country dance, though as the striking of 
the clock, midnight, was the signal for the dancing 
music to stop, and a flourish of trumpets to begin 
instead, during which the Queen walked round and 
shook hands with each of us, I can hardly say we danced 
in the New Year. . . . Directly after twelve we 
broke up and the Queen retired, when the household 
began vigorously to shake hands, the ladies being 
most affecting in their salutes to one another, a pro- 
ceeding which Lord Ormonde and some of the other 
gentlemen complained of, unless it was general among 
us all ; but to this we of course turned a deaf ear, 
though there were elegant bits of mistletoe stuck 
about all the lamps and chandeliers in every direction. 
The Edward Howards ^ and Van de Weyers are here 

' Lord Edward Howard, second son of thirteenth Duke of Norfolk, 
created Lord Howard of Glossop 1869, at this time Vice-Chamberlain 
to Queen Victoria, m. Augusta, only daughter of Hon. George Talbot. 



2o6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and the Duke of Cambridge and Lord William Paulet * 
with him. . . . Yesterday afternoon we had a long 
walk by the two bridges that have been built, one near 
Windsor and the other a good deal lower down, to 
replace the Datchet one that has been destroyed and 
that old road shut up. It was very pleasant walking 
and I enjoyed it ; we are a particularly good walking 
set just now ; I don't know when I have had so many 
nice walks in waiting, and we have planned two or 
three more if we can execute them. This morning 
we spent an hour in the riding school seeing the dis- 
tribution of beef, plum-pudding, blankets, &c. : the 
Queen and Prince, with the seven children, were 
there ; it looks such a flock when they are all together. 
The Queen was in great good looks and spirits, and 
all went off beautifully. Everybody seems to tliink 
that what I wrote you about the discrepancy between 
Lord Palmerston's and Lord John's letters to Lord 
Normanby was the reason of his going out ; I have 
heard nothing since, except that the Duke of Argyll^ 
and Mr. Cardwell were to fill up Lord Stanley of 
Alderley's and Lord Granville's places, but that I 
dare say you know. . . . 

P.S. — We are rather amused at the Duke of 
Cambridge's grief for " Uncle Hanover " being 
so much more mitigated than ours ; he was in 
a spotted silk neckcloth and a light brown bear 
this morning, while we are still in sackcloth and 
ashes. 



^ Lord William Paulet, fourth son of thirteenth Marquis of Win- 
chester, I 804-1 893. 

' George, eighth Duke of Argyll, 1 823-1 900, m. Lady Elizabeth 
Leveson Gower (V.A.), eldest daughter of second Duke of Sutherland. 



YEAR OF THE GREAT EXHIBITION 207 



7he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 6th, 1852. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We are very much delighted 
at having received a message from the Queen to say- 
that if we like, we may go down at six to see the chil- 
dren act their little German play ; we were afraid we 
should not have been admitted to see it ; . . . but I 
am so glad we are to see it ! ... I hear Lady Palmer- 
ston is inconsolable, and is writing a defence of Lord 
P. ; they say there is no doubt he was offered Ireland, 
which he indignantly refused ; and Lord Clarendon 
would not take the Foreign Office, as he said he could 
not bear stepping into another of his own party's 
place. Lord Lansdowne is said to be going out, but 
it is mere report ; and Lord John looked very cock- 
ing and happy yesterday ; he lunched with us, having 
come down to have an interview with the Queen. 
The poor Queen of the French and the Due de 
Nemours came over to see the Queen yesterday ; she 
seemed well, but looks older since last year. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE IRON DUKE 

Cabinet changes — Spring at Windsor — Arrival at Osborne — Royal 
visitors — Freedom of life at Osborne — " A Duke of Wellington 
itto Arthur's god-papa" — Death of the Duke of Wellington — 
The state funeral — Impressive service — The Prince affected — 
Return of the Duke's charger — The floods — But not a bath — 
Banquet in Waterloo Gallery — Back to Osborne — The missing 
van — High treason — Dizzy's Budget — Napoleon III — La belle 
Lucie — The Prince of Leiningen — An affair of State — A party 
of eight. 

The political horizon was still overcast during the 
year 1852. In February, Lord Palmerston carried an 
amendment against the Ministry which forced Lord 
John to resign : " I have had my tit for tat with John 
Russell," he observed complacently as he turned his 
party out of office. Lord Stanley, who had now suc- 
ceeded his father as Earl of Derby, carried on a Gov- 
ernment for five months, with Disraeli as Chancellor 
of the Exchequer. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, April 8ih, 1852, 

Dearest Mama, — We found most lovely sun- 
shine here yesterday when we arrived, and forthwith 
rushed to Frogmore to write our names for the 

Duchess of Kent and pay visits to her ladies, whom we 

808 



THE IRON DUKE 209 

found, all of them, at home ; and on our way back to 
the Castle, we amused ourselves by picking large 
bunches of primroses, of all of which there are abund- 
ance and in the fullest bloom. You will have seen by 
the papers when the first ball and concert take place ; 
the first drawing-room after Easter is fixed for the 
29th, the day I come out of waiting, and the birthday 
is to be kept on May 13th ; this is rather unusually 
early and looks as if they thought a dissolution might 
come in the way ; but Lord Derby certainly volun- 
teered to say, without any mystery, that it could not 
be till the middle or end of June. . . . We are to 
have a household dinner to-night, as they have sent 
Prince Leopold off for a day ; I don't know whether 
to Claremont or London ; but he comes back to- 
morrow or the next day, Col. Biddulph ^ believes. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, April x^th, 1852, 

Dearest Mama, — You will see by the papers that 
I was out riding with the Queen yesterday ; we had 
a most delicious ride about the Park for an hour and 
a half, and, in the course of it, called to inquire at 
Cumberland Lodge for Lady Isabella ; she is just 
the same. . . . 

. . . Princess Mary (Cambridge) is looking rather 
in beauty, being in black. The Duchess is looking 
out for a Lady, as Lady Car. Murray is only lent her by 
the Duchess of Gloucester, but as she requires a Lady 
of quality, a married lady, to chaperon Princess Mary 

* Colonel Biddulph, afterwards Lt.-General Sir Thomas Biddulph, 
K.C.B., Master of the Household. 

O 



2IO TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

occasionally instead of her, an agreeable person, a 
person of a certain age, and one who should have a 
house of her own in London, as she does not want her 
to live with her, but no grown-up daughters, as that 
would interfere with her duties, it is not an easy thing 
to find. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, July 24th, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — I made a most successful journey 
here yesterday, under Ed.'s care till three o'clock, and 
then was brought over in the little El^n, Captain 
Ballistour, in less than an hour. ... I found Lady 
Gainsborough at home, and she told me there were no 
orders and two dinners, so off we rushed in one of the 
pony landaus to Ryde, but as we did not start till a 
quarter past five, and as it is an hour's drive and she 
wanted to pay a long visit to Lord Gainsborough, who 
is staying at Ryde, you may imagine we were rather 
late in coming home ; indeed it struck eight as we 
drove up, and we saw all the gentlemen at the drawing- 
room window anxiously waiting for our return ; they 
would not allow us to dress, as dinner was upon the 
table, so we just washed our hands in a hurry and came 
down to dinner in our morning gowns ; we should 
have been rather in a scrape if we had been going to 
dine with the Queen, but as it was, it all did very well. 
. . . To-day the Mecklenburg-Strelitz ^ are expected 
to lunch, and the Duchess of Gloucester is to arrive 

* The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and his wife, Catherine, 
daughter of the Grand Duke Michael. 



THE IRON DUKE 211 

on a visit at half-past six, so I shall have a deal of re- 
ceiving royalty to do. 

Osborne, July 25th, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We had a regular day of 
waiting yesterday, first on the Mecklenburgs (Strelitz), 
who are not our friends, but some relations of theirs ; 
she was a daughter of the Grand Duke Michael ; and 
they brought a lady and gentleman, whom we had to 
entertain for nearly three hours. They are staying 
at Shanklin for sea-bathing, which has been recom- 
mended to her as she is delicate ; she looks rather 
consumptive, as all those Russian princesses do. Then 
at six, we were in readiness to receive the Duchess of 
Gloucester, who did not arrive till a quarter past seven ; 
she was looking very well for her, but is grown much 
older this year. To-day all the Cambridge party are 
coming from Ryde to dinner ; and we have to be 
elegantly attired in white, as it is the Duchess of 
Cambridge's birthday. 

Osborne, July 26th, 1852, 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Duchess of Gloucester 
is still here, and stays till to-morrow ; she has been out 
above two hours this morning in a bath-chair with the 
Prmce walking by her side, enjoying the fine sunshiny 
day. . . . Our life is of the quietest and most mono- 
tonous description, but I can understand the Queen 
and Prince being very fond of the place, it is so entirely 
of their ovm creation, and the children have so much 
more space and freedom to amuse themselves here than 
anywhere else. They are very nice children, and 
Prince Arthur is a particular darling ; it is too killing 
to hear him say " A Duke of Wellington itto Arthur's 



212 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

god-papa," which the Queen makes him say for every 
lady. ... 

Osborne, /w/y 2gth, 1852. 
Dearest Papa, — ... I have just received three 
prints from the Queen ; really beautiful ; one of 
herself, and one of Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred ; 
the two latter are only heads, the size of life and cir- 
cular ; the one of herself is a half length and smaller 
than life. I am very much pleased at having got them 
and feel sure you and Mama will admire them. Charles 
Murray came here yesterday to dine and sleep ; he 
brought a fine collection of old Egyptian trinkets and 
ornaments, including the ring of the Pharaoh of the 
Exodus, which is supposed to have belonged to Joseph ; 
it is a handsome heavy gold ring, with Mene's name 
in hieroglyphics upon it, but its being quite so old as 
that, I cannot help thinking doubtful. After we had 
admired the antiquities sufficiently, we had a rubber, 
and Lady Car. Barrington and I won it, seven points, 
of the royal couple, and received is. 9^. in payment. 

On September 14th the death of the Duke of 
Wellington cast a gloom over the whole nation. The 
public funeral did not take place until November i8th. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother, 
the Countess of Lauderdale 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 11th, 1852, 

Dearest Granny, — . . . The Queen is not ex- 
pected till past six, as she is to go at four, when she 
has changed her dress after opening Parliament, to see 
the Lying in State of the poor old Duke of Wellington. 



THE IRON DUKE 213 

I hear she is going up for one night, on Wednesday 
night, and coming down again on Thursday after 
the funeral, as she is to see the Funeral Procession ; 
I wonder if we shall go with her. The four eldest 
children are gone up to Town to see the Lying in 
State. . . . There seems an awful quantity of Royalty 
here, young Belgians and Hohenlohcs, that lunch 
with us, and people in attendance on them. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 14/A, 1852. 

My dearest Granny, — We are just come in from 
afternoon service at St. George's Chapel, to which 
we went as the Chapel in the Castle is not yet ready ; 
this morning Lord Wriothesley Russell came and read 
prayers in the dining-room, which H. Majesty and all 
of us attended ; but it is an uncomfortable thing in 
a room and we had no sermon. We afterwards looked 
at the Chapel in its unfinished state, and all agreed 
that the changes they were making would improve 
it immensely. I believe we are to have a great dinner 
in the Waterloo Gallery on Monday 22nd, to all dis- 
tinguished foreigners that are come over to attend the 
Duke's funeral ; am rather glad, as it is always a 
fine sight. The Belgian Princes went this morning 
to Claremont to attend R. Catholic Service there 
and to see the French Royal Family, who are there 
now ; the poor old Queen of the French is always 
so glad to see them, for they were the children of 
her favourite daughter.^ 

The Queen sent us yesterday a present of the 
print of Prince Arthur, with a doll in his hand, which 
is just published, and very pretty and very like him ; 
he is a great darling and a very fine little fellow. . . . 

* Prince Leopold of Belgium, afterwards Leopold II, and his 
brother, Prince Philippe. 



214 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. lyih, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — I begin this at Windsor, but I 
shall not close it till we are in London. . . . They 
say they don't know what they shall do, as there is 
neither kitchen nor servants' hall at B. Palace ; the 
old ones are pulled to pieces, and the new ones not 
yet finished. I believe the dinner is all to be cooked 
here, and warmed up there, and we are to dine in the 
room downstairs, where the Entree people come in 
on ball nights, and sit in the room adjoining, the one 
hung with the portraits of the Sovereigns and Princes 
who visited England in 1844, whence it goes among 
us by the name of the " 44 room." To-morrow we 
shall first see the procession pass B. Palace, which we 
may do very well from the new part, coming down 
that avenue from the Horse Guards ; and then the 
Queen and all of us rush off in six plain carriages to 
Col. Grey's rooms in St. James's Palace, to see the 
Cortege come down St. James's Street. I believe we 
then go home and wait for the Prince, and when he 
returns make the best of our way down to Windsor ; 
luckily the G. Western is repaired and open again, for 
the S. Western is stopped, not from anything giving 
way, but from the water being too deep, three and 
four feet in many parts of the line. The water is 
rising still, and it is dreadful to see how the whole 
country is like a great lake ; in many places even the 
hedges have disappeared under the water, and noth- 
ing remains but the trees to show what ought to be 
dry land ; and it looks so hopeless, not like the moun- 
tain torrents that come down and run off in twenty- 



THE IRON DUKE 215 

four hours, great as is the mischief they often do 
in the time ; but here it stands still, just rising twice 
a day at the high tide times and the rest of the day 
and night lying calm and smooth like a lake, as if it 
never meant to take its departure again. Usually the 
tide is not felt above Teddington, which is below 
Twickenham ; and now it is only felt by the rising 
of the flood always taking place ^t the flow of the 
tide. I believe we then go home and wait for the 
Prince. . . . Fancy that we have all two tickets 
a-piece for St. Paul's, for the Household Gallery . . . 
if I had not been in waiting it would really have been 
a temptation to go there. They say there are 17,000 
tickets issued for the Cathedral, but that there will 
be plenty of room for all. . . . 

Buckingham Palace, half-past three o'clock. 

We are just arrived, after a very rapid and pros- 
perous journey ; the floods just round Windsor 
looked awful from the railway, but after that, except 
in one spot at Ealing, we saw nothing more of them. 
London looks very full, and as the wind has gone to 
the west and the sun is shining brightly, not at all dis- 
agreeable. I hear the carpenters for putting up the 
scaffoldings have been in such request, that many 
have been earning fifteen shillings a day — as good as 
the " Diggings," almost. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Buckingham Palacb, Nov. i8th, 1852. 
My dearest Mama, — We have seen the procession, 
and on the whole it passed in much better order and 



2i6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

much more decorously than I had expected ; the pro- 
gramme in the Times is perfectly accurate, except that 
the Rifle Brigade was the first regiment that passed ; 
it passed next after a small squadron of cavalry which 
went forward to clear the way. The whole proces- 
sion took about an hour and three-quarters to pass 
by ; the troops passing was very pretty, and the sound 
of the muffled drums and the bands playing the Dead 
March was impressive ; but it was impossible to think 
of what we all really gathered together to see, the 
poor old Duke was so completely lost sight of in the 
Show. The artillery was beautiful ; the horses, car- 
riages, and guns, all so neat and trim-looking. But 
the thing that spoilt the look of the latter part of the 
procession was the private carriages ; there were not 
very many of them, but such as there were, were 
almost all very shabby, and even the handsome ones, 
those of the Prince, the Queen and Royal Family, the 
Speaker,^ Duke of Northumberland,^ Lord Derby, 
Lord Malmesbury,® and a few others, looked poor, 
marching slowly by, one by one. The troops were 
much the prettiest part. The car itself I did not 
admire much, the bronze wheels and black velvet 
pall embroidered in silver were handsome, but the 
gilt stands at the four corners, and the sort of canopy 
supported by four very unsteady poles, itself dangling 
about most untidily, looked very ill. The coffin, 
covered with crimson velvet, was exposed to view on 
the top of the car ; and it looked so small compared 

* Charles Shaw Lefevre, Speaker 1839-1857, created Viscount 
Eversley 1857. 

* Algernon, fourth Duke of Northumberland, first Lord of the 
Admiralty, 1 792-1 865. 

^ James, third Earl of Malmesbury, Secfetary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, 1807-1889. 



THE IRON DUKE 217 

with all the things around it, that I think it brought 
the thought more painfully before one, that all this 
fuss was being made about the handful of dust that 
was contained in that tiny thing. Altogether I could 
not help feeling as if the whole thing was rather like 
a mockery ; I don't know that one ought to feel it 
so, for it was quite right that the Duke of Wellington 
should have a public funeral, and all this pageant is 
a necessary part of a public funeral, but I believe 
most of us felt something of the kind as the body 
passed, and also when his horse, with the boots and 
spurs hanging from the empty saddle, was led past. 
We saw everything important twice, as when we got 
to St. James's, having waited till everything had gone 
past Buckingham Palace, we found that only a few of 
the troops had passed that yet, and the horse artillery 
were just going by ; and the second time it struck me 
as being in much better order ; when it passed B. 
Palace there were long gaps and spaces here and there, 
owing to their having so lately started from the Horse 
Guards, and not having exactly calculated how much 
room was wanted for the different regiments, &c. 
The Prince fell into his place in the procession here, 
and did not go to the Horse Guards ; his three carriages 
came next after the Archbishop of Canterbury's ; 
they were State carriages, the two first with coach- 
man and two footmen each in cocked hats and crape 
streamers ; and the third, in which he was, had four 
footmen in jockey caps, with long streamers which 
made them look like hoods. After he had joined 
there was an immense space or gap ; and it lasted 
so long that we all began to think something must 
have happened to the car ; but at last it came in sight, 
moving slowly on, with one of the Life Guards' bands 



2i8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

playing the Dead March before it ; I have not heard 
the reason of the stoppage, but I suppose they did 
not get it under way quite so easily as they expected ; 
they had to make the whole halt for a long time till 
it came up ; but afterwards the whole kept well to- 
gether. They say that a hundred girls sat up last 
night, working at the Horse Guards to finish the 
embroidery of the hangings and funeral pall on the 
car ; and the story goes on to say that they were 
kept awake by means of champagne. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. igth, 1852, 

Dearest Papa, — We made out our journey here 
very satisfactorily yesterday evening, as we had a 
special train for the Queen, of course ; but the regular 
trains were all very much delayed by the immense 
numbers that were going out of town ; the one next 
after ours, which starts at half-past five, and ought 
to be at Windsor soon after six, did not appear till 
half-past seven. . . . The floods are still very bad, 
but the water is decidedly falling, and there is nothing 
that could do the Great Western line any harm be- 
tween this and London ; the slip at Didcot still stops 
the line on the Oxford side ; and the South- Western 
cannot run yet, the water being still too deep. What 
a mercy it was that we had such a beautiful day 
yesterday ; it made London look so bright and un- 
like November. . . . The Prince and all those who 
were at the Cathedral say that the Funeral Service, 
and the whole proceedings inside the Cathedral, were 



THE IRON DUKE 219 

most solemn and impressive, and the music glorious ; 
every one seemed struck, too, with the reverent manner 
of all the thousands collected there ; I don't know 
whose idea it was, but they did a very wise and right 
thing in distributing copies of the Funeral Service, 
with the anthems that were to be sung on that occa- 
sion, to everybody in the Cathedral ; and it was 
requested that every one would join in the service 
where responses were to be made ; as the Psalms 
were chanted, there was little besides the Lord's 
Prayer to join in ; but we hear that the sound of the 
many thousands repeating it in a low voice after the 
Bishop was very strange and grand. Lord Wrio. 
Russell told us a little thing he observed, which 
showed that people were attentively foUowdng the 
service ; everybody of course was reading the same 
printed form and all the pages turned at once made 
a rustle every time it came like the wind through 
the leaves of a thick wood — he told us also that 
he saw the Prince quietly drying his eyes, which I 
thought rather nice of him ; that was after the anthem 
of " The King himself followed the bier," 2 Samuel 
iii. David and Abner) while the Dead March was 
sounding from the organ and the coffin slowly sinking 
into the vault, which being managed by machinery 
underneath had a very singular and awful effect. 
The Prince had told Lady Canning himself that the 
music was almost too much to bear. They say Lord 
Douro was very much affected indeed ; I thought he 
very likely would. Altogether the Cathedral part of 
the day's business seems to have been exactly what 
every one could have wished, all the pomp and mag- 
nificence the nation could bestow, all the honours 
the noblest in the land could show to the dead, and 



220 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the whole so mournful and impressive that no one 
could forget they were there to commit dust to dust. 
Very different from the procession, which, if it did 
make one feel sad (as it did with many, indeed 
most people) did so from the contrast between all 
its show and pageantry and the silent grave, which 
came over one painfully as the cofhn itself, fully ex- 
posed, which is not usual, passed by on the rather 
gaudy car. 

Yesterday, after I had sealed and sent down my 
letter, I wished I could have opened it again to tell 
you that at a quarter to two, the first intimation we 
had of the safe arrival of the cortege at its destination, 
was seeing the Duke's charger trotting quietly home 
again, with the groom who had led him in the pro- 
cession on his back ; and the two carriages following. 
I suppose it was quite right, and he could not have 
been expected to walk the horse from St. Paul's ; 
but it gave one an uncomfortable feeling at the 
moment. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 7,1st, 1852. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The most dreadful thing 
has happened to us, in the midst of all these floods, 
which though a little abated are almost as bad as ever, 
no water can come into the Castle, owing to the river 
being so high that it has covered the engine that 
forced the water up to the reservoir at Cranbourne 
Tower, so that it cannot work ; and we are all put 
upon short commons ; Lady Caroline Barrington was 



THE IRON DUKE 221 

shocked at seeing a little basin prepared for Prince 
Arthur instead of his usual tub ; and we were all told, 
through the housekeeper, that the Prince desired 
nobody might have their usual tubs or baths. We, 
however, all rebel, and declare we will rather walk 
down to the numerous pools, or to the great lake that 
occupies the place where the Home Park ought to be, 
below the North Terrace, with a bucket in each hand, 
than go dirty, which the Prince and Col. Biddulph 
seem to think the easiest and most obvious way of 
managing the difficulty. Indeed, if it goes on raining 
as it has done this morning, we need only put the tubs 
outside the windows for a few hours, and they will 
soon be quite full. Did you ever hear of such a thing, 
when the whole country is like one great pond ! The 
Hohenlohes left us yesterday morning, all but Prin- 
cess Ada, who stays all winter with the Duchess of 
Kent. The parting was rather touching ; she sobbed 
and cried bitterly, and her mother looked very low 
and sorry to leave her ; but in the evening she seemed 
to have quite recovered, and just before dinner they 
were all rejoiced at receiving a telegraphic message 
announcing their safe arrival at Calais, after a good 
quick passage, at six o'clock. They were to sleep 
here, and go on to Paris to-day. 

I saw Lady Canning's sketches of this summer 
on Friday last ; they are lovely, and I think they 
are the best I have ever seen of hers ; I particularly 
admired the Spanish ones, among others one of San- 
tiago di Compostella. She is so sweet and kind, and 
nicer than ever. She has some sketches with her 
done by Lady Waterford from nature at Spa and 
Li^ge this summer ; horses, peasants, &c., quite 
beautiful and equal to almost any artist. 



222 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother, 
the Countess of Lauderdale 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 2^th, 1852, 

My dearest Granny, — Our grand party in Water- 
loo Gallery on Tuesday went off most beautifully. 
The Queen was in great force and good looks, and 
all was very handsomely done, and the twenty-two 
foreigners departed yesterday morning. . . . We had 
the regimental band during dinner on that day for 
the first time since the Duke's death, and the piper 
walked round the table, playing the pipes, at dessert, 
which seemed to astonish the foreign weak minds not 
a little. . . . Our dissipation was perfectly awful ; 
the Queen did not leave the drawing-room till five 
minutes past twelve ; a thing perfectly unheard of 
in this place. . . . The Prince of Wales, Princess 
Royal, and Princess Charlotte of Belgium ^ came down 
after dinner and sat up till eleven ; P. of Wales looked 
very nice in his kilt, and spoke, by the Queen's desire, 
to Lord Anglesey and two or three of the most dis- 
tinguished foreigners ; his manner is very sweet and 
natural, with something shy about it that is rather 
attractive. 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 28tk, 1852. 

. . . Poor General Wemyss is still alive, but that 
is all. We had no music yesterday, either during 
dinner, or in the evening, because of his being so 
very ill, which was very nice of the Queen, we all 
thought. . . . We walked to Frogmore to do duty 

^ Princess Charlotte of Belgium, only daughter of Leopold I, King 
of the Belgians. 



THE IRON DUKE 223 

in the way of writing our names yesterday afternoon 
. . . and after talking with H.R.H. the Duchess of 
Kent a little, Princess Ada of Hohenlohe ^ carried us 
off to her room, where we stayed chatting till she 
received a message from her anxious Grandmamma, 
through Lady A. Bruce, that she hoped she was 
practising properly ; so we left her to her piano, 
came home, much amused with our afternoon. . . . 
The Belgian Princes go to-morrow to Oxford, stay 
there a day, and then go on for a short tour to Man- 
chester, Liverpool, and Bangor, to see the Menai and 
Britannia Bridges. On Monday, 6th, they come to 
Osborne, and leave on the 9th, the day I go out of 
waiting. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Nov. 30/A, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — Here we are at Osborne. . . . 
Our things are also now all arrived, though most of 
them did not come till late this morning, with the 
Princesses' boxes ; so we all had to dress with very 
few of our usual comforts, or indeed necessaries, as 
one has been brought up to consider sponges, tooth- 
brushes, and such things. Yesterday morning, too, 
the Queen, when she was told she could not play at 
whist for there was not a card in the house, they were 
all in the missing van, declared it must be the most 
extraordinary van that ever was, for every single 
thing she had asked for since her arrival was supposed 
to be in it, and not forthcoming. I produced some 

' Princess Ada of Hohenlohe, daughter of Ernest, Prince Hohenlohe, 
and grand-daughter of the Duchess of Kent. 



224 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Patience cards, which amused the Queen extremely, 
and the Prince said he would lodge an information 
against me with Mr. Disraeli ^ for having unstamped 
cards ; and the Queen sent for her own pet box of 
German cards with elegant landscapes and views of 
castles on their backs, and played a game or two of 
ecarte. She looked at my new drawings — the Dartrey 
ones I mean — and begged me to do her a copy of a 
sketch I had done at Taymouth when I was there ; 
she was very kind and gracious. . . . 

Adieu, dearest Pap. . . . We are just going to 
see the new Farm offices, and beasts here ; there is 
a beautiful bull which we are to admire, only he has 
got a swelled face ; so the Queen told us last night. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. ist, 1852, 

Dearest Mama, — We are rather agreeable in our 
small party here ; the Queen keeps saying the rooms 
are hot, and the Prince laughs and complains of being 
very cold, and they play at whist on the large round 
table, just as in former days, and the Queen can 
never remember to return her partner's lead, for 
which the Prince speaks reprovingly to her. By the 
by, the Queen and Prince declare that on some oc- 
casion, after a concert, you and Lady Ailesbury ^ over- 
turned a china table and smashed it ; did you, or is 
it a wicked libel upon you? The Prince described 

' 1 Rt. Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. 

* Maria, youngest daughter of Hon. Charles ToUemache, m, second 
Marquis of Ailesbury, 



THE IRON DUKE . 225 

very clearly how it is supposed to have happened ; 
from both the ladies wearing such loads of petticoats, 
and one trying to pass by, when the other backed 
very suddenly, and the sticking out tournures upset 
the table. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother^ the 
Countess of Lauderdale 

Osborne, Dec. yd, 1852. 

Dearest Granny, — ... I have been playing 
with the Queen the last two or three evenings in the 
drawing-room, and, shocking to relate, on Wednesday 
I took a small slice out of H.M.'s little finger with 
my nail, and actually drew the blood, for which the 
Prince of Leiningen^ said I ought to be attainted of 
High Treason. She was very sweet and good-natured 
about it, and the Prince declared he was very glad, 
as now the Queen would see that he was not the only 
person that such misfortunes happened to ; it seems 
he constantly catches his fingers with hers in playing. 
. . . We are all wondering what will be the result of 
the evening's debate in the House of Commons ; the 
report is that Dizzy means to propose a five per cent, 
income tax, to be extended to Ireland, and to be laid 
chiefly on landed property ; incomes of professional 
men, and life incomes of all kinds, paying in a much 
smaller proportion. Ill-natured people add that it 
will be by far the most Radical Budget that has ever 
yet appeared ; but of course we don't believe such 
wicked reports. The Government seem very doubt- 

* Charles, Prince of Leiningen, son of the Duchess of Kent by her 
first marriage with Emich, Prince of Leiningen. 

P 



226 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

ful themselves about how long they will last ; but it 
seems to me that all the Whigs think they will go on ; 
from which I suppose that unless they do anything 
very outrageous, Lord Lansdowne and all the moderate 
Whig party will support them. Lord Lansdowne 
certainly talked as if they neither wished nor expected 
a change of Ministry, when he was at Windsor the 
other day ; and as if he thought the last Government 
had been going rather too fast for him latterly. But 
the greatest danger is from Lord Derby's own party, 
who naturally don't like eating all the words they have 
been repeating so loudly the last six years. We 
are also dying to hear about yesterday's events in 
Paris ; and to know when and how Count Walewski * 
will officially announce them. I believe the English 
Government are not going to stand out upon trifles, 
such as the name of Napoleon III, which he has 
taken, but mean to acknowledge him handsomely 
at once. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. slh, 1852. 

Dearest Mama, — We are all in great admiration 
of Dizzy's speech, of its great talent, and greater 
audacity ; but I agree with Col. Grey, who declares 
he thinks him by far the greatest Chancellor of the 
Exchequer that has appeared for ages ; he has struck 
out such a completely new line for himself, and made 
his whole scheme hang together so well. However, 
he has to eat a good many of the words he has uttered 

> Alexandre, Comte de Walewski, French Ambassador, 1 810-1868. 



THE IRON DUKE 227 

so plentifully for the last six years, and to go back to 
his earlier professions, when he, standing against Col. 
Grey for Bucks, wondered how their party could 
have sent two men of the same opinions to oppose 
each other. All the Belgian Princes have returned, 
and there being no ladies but the Queen, Lady Ely ^ 
and me, and the Princes on a visit taking precedence, 
I fell to the lot of our own Prince, and sat between 
him and the Prince of Leiningen, in the middle of the 
table, exactly opposite the Queen, to her great amuse- 
ment, as she and I saw just each other's faces and 
nothing else, through a sort of medallion formed by 
one of the ornaments of Minton's pretty blue and 
white dessert service, with which the table was adorned, 
as usual when we entertain distinguished guests at 
Osborne. I enjoyed my dinner excessively, and after- 
wards, after playing two or three pieces on the piano, 
a thing I have done very often this waiting, I finished 
the evening by playing half a dozen games at ecarte 
for sixpences, with the Prince of Leiningen, finishing 
off with one for double or quits, which left us quits. 
The rest of the royalty were playing at " La Belle 
Lucie," two going on at opposite sides of the round 
table, the Queen and the Prince playing them, and 
the others advising. The Queen was so keen about 
hers, that she sat up till a quarter-past eleven, and 
would be there now, I believe, if the Prince had 
not taken pity upon her, and helped her out of 
her difficulties, having first satisfactorily finished 
his. . . . 



* Jane, daughter of James Hope-Vere (V.A.), m. John, third 
Marquis of Ely. 



228 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father., 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. jth, 1852. 

Dearest Papa, — The Belgians are all going this 
morning at half-past one, and we shall then return 
to private life, as Lady Lyttelton used to say, and I 
shall no longer sit between our Prince and the Prince 
of Leiningen, at which I feel quite low, though it 
made one rather shy having to repeat all one's foolish 
remarks to the Prince of Leiningen in an audible 
voice for the benefit of the Queen opposite and the 
amusement of all the gentlemen, who, having nothing 
else to do, were all on the watch for each speech and 
all re-echoed the Queen's laugh at the end ; she, being 
seated between the two stupid Belgian boys, might 
be forgiven for not finding much to occupy her in her 
neighbours' conversation. Little Van De Weyer was 
her only other resource ; he was sitting next but one 
to me, by our Prince ; and gave a most amusing 
account of their tour to Bangor and the Britannia 
Bridges and visit to the slate quarries, where he par- 
ticularly objected to having to go down the inclined 
planes, as he could not manage to do it in the slow 
and dignified manner which became his age and 
station, but had to make a run for it, which he de- 
clared he found very awkward with his " petites 
jambes." 

. . . The Walewskis and Lord Malmesbury are to 
be here on Thursday, with W.'s new credentials. 
I am in despair at not seeing the fun, as it seems he is 
very pompous about it, and begs he may be received 
with all due form and ceremony. Now, as the Queen 
told us last night, " there is no state here," so this 



THE IRON DUKE 229 

was rather puzzling ; however, they bethought them- 
selves of ordering a frigate from Portsmouth, to salute 
the French flag when he arrives. We are very anxious 
to know how they will be dressed, as it seems L. 
Napoleon is bent upon restoring everything as it was 
under the Empire, and has ordered all his Ministers 
to appear in coats of the cut of fifty years ago, and 
all their wives to wear short waists, gored petticoats 
tight to the figure and short, and high-heeled shoes. 
I shall dread French invasion seriously now, if its 
consequences are to involve our having to conform 
to such fashions. . . . 



T^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother, the 
Countess of Lauderdale 

Osborne, Dec. gth, 1852. 

My dearest Granny, — . . . The Prince was not 
very well yesterday, had a chill the day before, which 
brought on a sharp bilious attack, and he lay on the 
sofa all day, looking very pale and interesting, and did 
not come down to dinner : the Queen dined with 
us, as usual, but went upstairs for a few minutes 
after dinner, like a good wife, to see him, and reported 
that he was better ; and I hear he is pretty well again 
this morning. It would have been dreadful if he had 
been ill to-day, as the Walewskis are expected, to pre- 
sent the new credentials, and the Queen is in an 
awful fuss about the dinner going off well, and says 
it makes her quite hot to think of it ; the party is 
so small, and everybody hears every word one says ; 
and there are so few subjects she can talk about with 
safety ; as she says, she cannot approve of all that 
has been doing in France the last few years, and yet 



230 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of course wishes to say nothing that is not very- 
civil. . . . 

Our party was only eight at dinner last night ; 
and after dinner, the Queen and we two ladies sat 
in state at the round table ; Baron Stockmar, as usual, 
retired to his room and the Prince of Leiningen and 
our three gentlemen played a rubber. However, we 
were very agreeable and did not break up till near 
eleven. 



CHAPTER XIII 

VISIT OF THE KING OF THE BELGIANS 

A Coalition Cabinet — Fire at Windsor — The Queen and Prince — A 
cup of tea — ^^20,000 of damage — Mr. Wellesley guards the chapel 
— Queen's notice to her servants — The King of the Belgians and his 
family at the Castle — Arrive without luggage — ^The Koh-i-noor — 
Investiture of Knights of the Thistle — Dancing with "elderly 
Thistles " — ^The Duke of Devonshire's gardener — The Walewskis 
— ^French fashions — Queen visits Sydenham — The Duchess de Bra- 
bant on travelling — Her wish to drive in a cab — Nineteen hours of 
sea — Captain Inglefield's drawings. 

In this year political affairs were still in a state of 
uncertainty. The brilliant speech on the Budget 
delivered by Disraeli, to which allusion is made in 
the foregoing letters, resulted in a division which 
caused his Government to resign. Lord Aberdeen 
was now in power with a Coalition Cabinet formed 
of Whigs and Peelites, with Gladstone as Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, and Palmerston in the Home 
Office. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Mar. 20th, 1853. 

Dearest Mama, — I suppose you will before this 

reaches you have heard reports and accounts of the 

fire that broke out here last night, and I dare say you 

may have felt rather anxious about it altogether ; it 

231 



232 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

really was very awful ; it was so long before they 
could at all get it under, and they were all that time 
in uncertainty how far the fire might have run along 
the flues, which were as usual the cause, as far as 
we can see, of the fire. The first sign of it was a 
strange smell, not exactly wood smoke, but more like 
varnish burning, which one of the gentlemen observed 
in opening the door for us to go out of the Octagon 
room, where we had been dining, as there were two 
dinners. It is the first room, next the dining-room, on 
the north terrace, and to get to it one has to go through 
the two drawing-rooms where the Queen usually sits, 
and the dining-room itself ; on the other side it opens 
into the new armoury, and so to the State-rooms. One 
of the gentlemen said, " Dear me, there has been a 
pastille burning," and they sat down again for a few 
minutes when the smell grew stronger of burning ; 
and on going into the dining-room (which is the tower 
at the north-east corner of the Castle) they saw smoke 
working its way out thick round the edges of the glass 
on the chimney-piece. This was the opposite side 
from where the fire really was, as was soon discovered, 
but the smoke ran along the ceiling and then down 
there before it found any vent. They also saw water 
dripping through the ceiling (from some pipe which 
the heat had melted), and heard crackling and hissing 
noises all about. Of course they directly began to 
clear away the furniture, take up the carpets, in that 
and the adjoining rooms, and get together buckets, 
hose, men, &c., but they still could not tell exactly 
where the fire was ; this was about half-past nine. 
Several of the servants live over the dining-room ; and 
on two of them, Norton, the clerk of the kitchen, and 
Waetzig, one of the cooks, going to their rooms, 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 233 

which are on the north side, one of the rooms was in 
flames, and in the other the flames were just breaking 
out through the carpet. 

Almost at the same moment it became visible, 
like a small burning spot at first, from the dining- 
room, through the cornice at that corner, and just 
then we all, being anxious to see what was going on, 
came to the door, but of course no further, for fear 
of being in the men's way. The spot spread, but 
soon, a hose being brought to play upon it, it was 
stopped there, and some of them hoped the mischief 
was over, when three or four minutes after, as we 
were still looking, one of the compartments of the 
ceiling fell in, and the flames and smoke burst down 
into the room. The crash was awful, and in a few 
minutes more, another bit fell in, while the hose, 
being worked from below, had no strength whatever 
against such a fire as was ragftig then. In a few 
minutes they managed to get a hose fastened to a 
plug outside, and to play it from some leads which 
were above, which gave them better purchase, but 
the tower is very high, and they could not till much 
later get the water to play right down through the 
roof and flooring of all the rooms to where the fire 
was ; and meantime it was spreading upwards and 
bursting through all the windows of that tower, as 
we saw from the terrace ; but still they were begin- 
ning to hope the communications were all cut off, and 
the fire would be confined to the tower, which it was, 
thank Heaven ! The Prince and the gentlemen were 
among the men, working and directing, and the poor 
Queen, looking anxious but quite composed and quiet, 
was in the room next the one they were working in, 
retreating from room to room as the men came in 



234 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

with furniture, &c., from the one where the fire 
was and those adjoining it, which they thought it 
right to deluge with water and clear of everything. 
At intervals we heard the crash of more of the ceiling 
coming down, and one or other of us went out to see 
what we could, and hear the reports ; and she sat 
there among us, the men in their shirt sleeves rushing 
through, not seeing or dreaming of seeing her and 
actually elbowing the chair she was on. We went 
in and out before her totally regardless of ceremony, 
and she stayed there till half-past one, when it was 
all getting so much better that the Prince and all the 
gentlemen said there was no further danger, and it 
must just be watched, and the engines played at 
intervals where it was still smoking and blazing. 
Then we ladies all retired, as did also the Prince and 
some of the gentlemen, but Cols. Biddulph, Grey, 
Phipps, and one or two others stayed through, I be- 
lieve, till a quarter past four, when all signs of the 
fire were over. 

The scene of wreck and ruin this morning was 
terrible, but they are making the outer rooms tidy 
as quick as they can ; the dining-room of course it 
is of no use touching. I never saw anything so sweet 
as the Queen, for with all her composure one saw 
she was very anxious ; and in the midst of it all, or 
rather, when it began to get a little better, she ordered 
tea to be brought for us, which I am sure none of us 
had thought of for ourselves ; and looked quite pleased 
when the first person who took a cup was the Prince, 
who had a most awful cold, and came into the room 
just as the page brought in the tea-tray ; and each 
of the gentlemen, as they dropped in, helped them- 
selves, just washing out their own cups, for there 




LIEUTENANT-GENERAL THE HON. CHARLES GREY 
From a sketch by G. H. Thomas, in the possession of the Countess of Antrim 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 235 

had been only four brought, for the four ladies ; the 
Queen having a glass of Eau Sucr^e herself. She is 
quite well this morning, and came to service as 
usual. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Mar. 22nd, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Duchess of Kent did 
not know of the fire till Sunday morning, as she was 
gone to bed before any news of it reached Frogmore ; 
the first anybody heard of it there was from a note I 
wrote to Lady Fanny Howard by the Queen's desire, to 
tell the Duchess gently, if she was still up, and if not, 
to let her rest till the morning. It arrived at one 
o'clock, and of course alarmed the household, as the 
messenger who took it, one of the footmen, had been 
assisting in working the pumps, and knew all about 
it. The Duchess always has her fire lighted at six 
and gets up directly afterwards ; so at the hour her 
maid walked in with " Your R. H. is not to be fright- 
ened," and presented my note to her, which made as 
light as I could of it ; she was very much distressed, 
and got up after a little, and was here to breakfast 
by a little before nine, and after that they all visited 
the ruins, which as Ed will tell you look wretchedly 
black and dreary, and are still dripping with water. 

The Queen had talked several times of letting her 
know, but the Prince was rather against it ; perhaps 
he thought that she would rush up from Frogmore 
and her coming would only add to their distresses, 
but at last the Queen said she could not bear to think 
she should only know it by chance, and I suppose 



236 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the Prince thought by that time she would be safe 
in bed and could not come, and moreover, that it 
was but right she should be told, and at twelve I was 
sent to write the note. I hope I wrote in good Eng- 
lish and proper courtly style, for the Duchess has 
still got it and from a word the Queen said I am cer- 
tain she has read it. I know I said in one place, 
" there is nobody like her," which though hardly in 
terms for her royal eye, could not much displease 
her. 

They are not sure what the expense of setting it 
right may be, but ^20,000 is rather over than under 
the mark, as nothing handsome was destroyed but 
the ceiling and curtains of the dining-room ; the 
walls, looking-glasses, windows, and furniture were 
none of them at all injured ; and the rooms over 
that are only servants' rooms ; and though of course 
their own losses of clothes, &c., will be made up to 
them, yet that will not be anything very enormous. 
The curtains were done for by the water, for the fire 
was all above and never touched them. They cannot 
say for certain whether the fire began in a flue or from 
a beam between two chimneys, from two fireplaces 
whose place had been changed ; and they had great 
difficulty in finding any one who knew the direction 
of the flue for hot air ; at last the chimney-sweep 
said he knew, and drew it on paper very accurately ; 
it is not literally the hot air flue, but the flue that 
takes the smoke from the hot air stove, and ran hori- 
zontally and very awkwardly under some of the 
floors. . . . 

It is a great joke among us that Mr. Wellesley^ 

1 The Hon. and Very Rev. Gerald Wellesley, D.D., Dean of Windsor, 
son of first Baron Cowley, 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 237 

stood like a dragon on the threshold of his chapel 
great part of the evening, guarding it and preventing 
going through or putting things into it. Up to half- 
past twelve, the fire kept increasing ; but by that 
time it had worked its way to a level higher than 
that of the buildings on each side and they had seen 
that all communication with the side buildings below, 
through doors or otherwise, was stopped with wet 
blankets, &c., and though they could not say the fire 
was abated, they felt more safe as regards the rest of 
the castle. And then it was the Prince sent the 
Queen to bed. He himself was in and out once or 
twice afterwards till the fire was completely out at 
a quarter past four. 

Windsor Castle, Thursday, Mar. 24th, 1853. 

We had one dinner last night, and the Queen was 
exceedingly sweet and the Prince made himself 
generally agreeable, pleasuring about the room and 
talking to us all. 

Windsor Castle, Good Friday, Mar. 25/A, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — I am just come up from Morning 
Service much struck and impressed by the way in 
which, at the close of his sermon, Mr. Wellesley 
brought in the alarm of fire we had recently had. . . . 

. . . The Queen has had a notice posted up in 
the Servants' Hall and elsewhere in the Castle, thank- 
ing the servants for their exertions during the fire, 
and using the words, " that H.M. felt very grateful," 
as Hoffarth told me, to them all for what they did ; 
and there is an order of the day, or whatever the 
right expression is, to the troops, from her, to the 



238 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

same effect. I think it very pretty on her part ; it 
will make them all more loyal than ever. 

Windsor Castle, Sunday, Oct. i6th, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — I arrived in beautiful time on 
Friday and, as you say, could go and see Lady Caro- 
line before the Queen came ; she and her three little 
charges had arrived here for lunch ; they came down 
to the corridor at the hour the Queen was expected 
and waited there with us till H.M. came. She was 
most exact, eight o'clock being the time ordered for 
her arrival, having left Edinburgh at five minutes to 
eight in the morning. The Royalty all seem very 
flourishing and the " Sweet Queen " was very sweet 
indeed, particularly in her minute inquiries after 
you, yesterday, as we sat at the round table in the 
evening. . . . 

The first day we just saw her, but not to speak 
to, as her first words of course were for the children, 
who ran out to meet her, Prince Arthur looking very 
darling with his curly head, of which the Queen is 
as proud as Augusta is of little May's ^ curls ; and as 
the Royal couple dined alone we saw no more of them 
afterwards. The new dining-room is all but finished, 
and we are to use it to-morrow ; it is exactly the 
counterpart of the old one, in all its fittings and 
decorations. Lord Aberdeen is coming down to-day 
to dine and sleep. I am afraid the general impression 
here is that war is inevitable. We are to be rather 
gay ; that is, on Friday next the King of the Belgians,^ 
with the Duke and Duchess de Brabant,^ the Comte 

^ The Hon. Mary Dawson, daughter of her sister. Lady Cremome. 
* Leopold I, King of the Belgians. 

^ Prince Leopold, eldest son of the King of the Belgians, and his 
wife, Marie Henriette, daughter of the Archduke Joseph of Austria. 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 239 

de Flandres^ and Princess Charlotte, are all coming 
to stay here. . . . 

7he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. 22nd, 1853, 

Dearest Mama, — Our Belgians arrived yesterday- 
evening, but not till very late, and of course they had 
no luggage with them, after the usual fashion of Royal 
travellers, so the Queen said they had better dine in 
private . . . which was accordingly done. We were 
a very large party with all the Belgian suite, and as the 
Octagon room would not hold us and the usual dining- 
room had been prepared and the table laid for the 
Royal dinner, we dined there and sat in the drawing- 
room afterwards and really got through our evening 
very well ; to be sure it was a short one, as we sat 
down to dinner exactly at nine and retired to our 
*' downies " before eleven. . . . The Duchess de 
Brabant seems very nice looking by the glimpse we 
had of her when she arrived ; she is neither tall nor 
short, fair, rather fat, with pretty eyes and a brilliant 
colour ; she is very young — only seventeen the day 
after her marriage. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. 25th, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — Our Royal visitors, except the 
King himself, all went up to London to-day to spend 
the day in sightseeing and shopping, so we had nobody 

* Prince Philippe, second son of the King of the Belgians. 



240 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

to entertain but Lady Clarendon, which was a great 
rehef ; she is charming, as you know. 

Windsor Castle, Oct. iyth, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — I did not write to Scotland yester- 
day, I had so little to say, there is such a sameness 
in our lives. . . . However, I had no cause to com- 
plain yesterday, for in the morning Lady Clarendon 
and I had a really pleasant private lounge in the 
State rooms, looking comfortably at the pictures and 
doing what we liked, and in the evening after I had 
stood in my usual place leaning against the wall for 
half an hour, and was looking forward rather drearily 
to another half-hour of it, I was most agreeably inter- 
rupted by being desired to go and get from one of the 
maids, who has the Queen's jewels in her charge, no 
less a one than the Koh-i-noor, Mdme. CoUondo 
having said she wished very much to see it. I brought 
it in accordingly, on a little green silk tray, and it went 
the rounds first of all the Royalty, the Prince having 
unscrewed it from the brooch setting in which it was, 
to show its size, thickness and weight, and then of all 
the rest of the company, which distracted me for fear 
they should let it fall on the little diamond setting by 
its side, and so scratch it while I had it in my charge ; 
for everyone in the room insisted on taking it into 
their hands, that they might say they had held it. 
After they had all done I took it back to the dresser, 
who was waiting for it in the corridor. It is certainly 
most beautiful, perfectly white and clear, very thick, 
regularly brilliant-cut, and about the size of a florin. 

The Queen went up to town this morning, walked 
through the new ball-room and offices of Bucking- 
ham Palace, and then, after paying the Duchess of 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 241 

Gloucester a visit, came back here to lunch ; she was 
pleased with the new building ; I did not find out 
whether she approved of the colour they have painted 
the North Front, but I hope for the sake of her good 
taste that she thought it frightful. The King of the 
Belgians, and the Brabants, after lunching at B. 
Palace, went to Kew and then to Twickenham, where 
the D'Aumales have got a house, as you know. They 
have brought over a great deal of ornamental furniture 
and the whole of the Library, which I am told is very 
valuable, from Chantilly, which belonged to the Due 
d'Aumale, and they have made this house very com- 
fortable and quite beautiful with it all. . . . 

The Thistles don't assemble till to-morrow, and 
as we are only to be fifty at dinner it is to be in 
Waterloo Chamber, and not in St. George's Hall. 
The Duchess of Norfolk wiU officiate as the second 
Lady in Waiting at the Investiture. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. 28th, 1853. 

Dearest Mama, — The investiture took place to- 
day at three o'clock, and we saw it beautifully, though 
as we were in morning dresses we did not go into the 
room ; but we stood opposite the open folding doors 
of the Ball-room, and saw the Queen sitting at the 
head of the table, then. the Knights of the Order were 
called in, their suffrages collected for each new Knight 
individually, not all three at once, and the Queen 
declared each one in turn to be duly elected. They 
were then introduced (each one after the suffrages in 
his favour had been collected) by the two junior 

Q 



242 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

knights, Lord Mansfield^ and Lord Elgln,^ sworn, 
knighted and invested with the ribbon and insignia 
of the Order. The new knights are in full dress, 
that is, in uniform, but of course not in robes, as it is 
supposed to be a surprise to them, and consequently 
they can have made no preparations ; the other knights, 
and the Queen and Prince, were in the robes of the 
Order, very handsome and most becoming to the 
Queen ; dark green velvet with St. Andrew's Cross 
on the shoulder. She had a crown of diamonds on 
her head, in the middle of which in front was, I think, 
the Koh-i-noor, and looked very nice sitting at the 
head of the table. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Oct. 2gth, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — Our Waterloo Gallery banquet 
went off beautifully, but in the evening, oddly enough, 
the amusement provided was dancing, which, as our 
visitors were mostly elderly Thistles or venerable 
Ministers, did not go with great spirit. The Brabants 
hate dancing, and neither of them know their figures, 
never having learned to dance. . . . Princess Royal 
and Princess Charlotte of Belgium came down for it, 
which was something, but they only danced the two 
quadrilles and the country dance. Our reel was a very 
good one ; Lady Fanny Bruce and Lord Mansfield, 
Lord Elgin and me ; and despite his grey hairs and 
his fat. Lord Elgin's steps were wonderful and uni- 

1 William, fourth Earl of Mansfield, 1 806-1 898. 
' James, eighth Earl of Elgin, afterwards Viceroy of India, i8|;- 
1863. ' 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 243 

versally admired ; to be sure Lord Mansfield and he 
act as foils to each other, but both danced rather well. 
... I am so glad that Granny is getting on so well. 
The King of the Belgians was talking about her to 
Lord Breadalbane in a sentimental manner as if it 
awakened happy recollections of his young days. 

Windsor Castle, Nov. ist, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — The Queen has been to Sydenham 
and seems to have had a most prosperous expedition ; 
the day was lovely, and they walked all about it in every 
direction, for a long time, and have just got home. . . . 
The Duke of Devonshire ^ was there, and one of his 
remarks rather amused her : " Fancy one's gardener 
having done all this ! " * It is indeed a thing for a 
gardener to be proud of, though it is only his idea 
altered and enlarged by others ; still if he had not 
thought of the Hyde Park Building the Sydenham one 
would never have been built. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 2nd, 1853. 

Dearest Mama, — The Walewskis went away this 
morning after breakfast, as he could not stay to shoot, 
having an appointment with Lord Clarendon in Down- 
ing Street. They are the only people that have arrived 
here in a gentlemanlike way this year, travelling in 
the chariot and four, up and down from London. I 
suppose he thought the French Ambassador ought 

* William Spencer, sixth Duke of Devonshire, 1 790-1 858. 
" Joseph Paxton, formerly gardener to the Duke of Devonshire, 
knighted 1851. 



244 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT i 

not to be seen in a fly — of course we had all our eyes 
open to see the French fashions in her dress ; but the 
thing that struck me most about it was its perfect 
simplicity, hardly any trimmings and what she had 
were light and sparingly put on. This morning she 
came down in mourning, it being the "Jour des Morts," 
and her attire was a skirt of black silk with a few narrow 
velvets on it at intervals ; a black velvet jacket, meet- 
ing at the waist, and edged with one row of narrow 
lace and small bugle heading; a regular shirt, like a 
man's, with broad plaits up the front and the 
collar and wristbands stitched, and turned back ; a 
black ribbon tied round her neck ; a white cap 
and white ribbons. It looked very pretty indeed, 
though rather peculiar, particularly the plain shirt 
sleeves. 

To-day the Belgians are all gone up to London 
again, except the King ; they were to go to Mass, then 
to see St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses 
of Parliament, lunch at the Van de Weyers, do a little 
shopping, and, some people say, end with Green- 
wich ; but how they can do it all and be home to 
dinner, I don't know. 

They (the Belgians) were much surprised and 
charmed with Sydenham, and edified by the delicate 
attention of the people who have the management of 
the works there, who, getting notice on Monday that 
the Queen would go there yesterday (Tuesday) and 
seeing that all the ground round and up to it was wet 
and deep with the rain last week and all the work going 
on, made paths for her in every direction round it and 
through all the gardens, by spreading faggots on the 
ground and strewing dust over them, so that it was 
as dry as one's drawing-room. 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 245 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. j\th, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Royal family have been 
riding more or less all day ; after breakfast all the 
children went out and I saw them riding home, a 
large merry party, consisting of our two eldest Princes 
and Princesses, Princess Charlotte of Belgium, Miss 
Illhardt, Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Meyer. At one, the 
Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Brabant went out 
for an hour's ride, but only in the school, so of course 
none of us were required. . . . This is Princess Char- 
lotte's fete day and the children are celebrating it by 
getting up some charades, which we are to go and see 
before dinner. To-morrow they, the King and the 
Comte de Flandres, take their departure, but the 
Brabants stay some time longer. ... I believe the 
Queen and King wanted to go to dine at Frogmore 
to-day and offered to save the Duchess all trouble 
about the dinner by sending it bodily, with the cooks 
to dish and arrange it, but she refused, saying it was 
too sudden and she wanted time for preparation ; so 
she is to dine here. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. 6th, 1853. 

Dearest Mama, — The King, Comte de Flandres, 
Princess Charlotte and their attendants all took their 
departure yesterday at two o'clock, and the Brabants 
and Launoys went with them to Dover, to see them off 



246 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and then return here ; but as it seemed possible they 
might have to stay there all night, the ladies wisely 
took a chemise of night, and a comb and brush in 
their pockets, but no maids, and I believe the Duchess 
rather looked upon it in the light of a charming frolic, 
and only hoped that some lucky chance or mistake 
would oblige them to go from one terminus to the other 
in London, in cabs ; this it seems at present is the 
object of her ambition, and I feel sure she will manage 
it somehow before she leaves England. . . . When 
they got to Dover they found the tide did not serve 
till eleven, . . . and it was then six, dark and foggy, 
and with a good deal of wind in spite of the fog, so 
the King resolved they would all sleep at the " Ship " 
at Dover. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. jth, 1853. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We are alone for a few days, 
as the Brabants, like dutiful children, went to see the 
King off on Saturday ... he did not, however, sail 
till yesterday, Sunday, at twelve, and a quarter of an 
hour before the time the Duchess said she thought 
she should like to go too, so it was settled that they 
were all to go over to Ostend, stop there for two hours 
to take in coals, and buy beds, as there were none on 
board, and then the young people were to get on board 
again and go straight to Portsmouth, fifteen hours' 
steaming, and if all the contingencies came right, that 
is if the tide served, the night was clear, the wind 
calm, the coals on the quay, ready to be put on board, 
the beds easily bought, both passages rapid, and last 



VISIT OF KING OF THE BELGIANS 247 

though not least, the good people still of the same 
mind, they might get to Portsmouth this morning by 
nine o'clock. Don't you think Princess Charlotte's 
old Belgian bonne was quite justified in saying the 
Duchess was " un peu f antasque et bourrasque," which 
was her answer to me when I politely observed that 
she seemed a " charmante personne." The great 
object of her ambition is now to drive in a cab, and I 
have no doubt she will manage it before she leaves 
England, though M. Van de Weyer told her she could 
not do it at Portsmouth, as she was going there 
officially, but they might perhaps some day in London, 
incog. She had no maid, any more than Mdme. de 
Launoy, with her, and no clothes more than they could 
carry in their bag or pocket ; but of course the ser- 
vants are all gone to Portsmouth to-day. . . . 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Nov. gth, 1853. 

Dearest Mama, — We have got a most " lovely " 
day for our last ; and we made good use of it, first for 
the Parade in honour of the Prince of Wales's birthday 
and after that we had seen that, and it really went off 
most successfully and was a very pretty sight, we 
went and paid farewell visits. . . . You can't think 
how nice and gentlemanlike the Prince of Wales looked 
in his kilt, saluting as the troops marched past, and 
when they gave three cheers for him, and making his 
little speech of thanks to Col. Dixon (who com- 
manded) when the Queen made him come forward 
to tell him himself that the troops had done very well, 
or something to that effect, as she usually does on 



248 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

such occasions. Yesterday it struck us all that she 
was rather laughing at the Duchess of Brabant for 
her wildgoose chase to Ostend for nothing, and en- 
couraging M. and Mdme. de Launoy who were in a 
good-humoured manner loud in their disapprobation 
of the trip, and joking and quizzing the Duchess as 
much as they dared, for wilfully encountering nine- 
teen hours of sea, after she had declared only a fort- 
night ago she never could set foot in a ship again, 
even to go home, but must stay here for the rest of 
her life. . . . 

Captain Engelfield^ came here this afternoon and 
brought all his drawings and sketches of the Arctic 
scenery ; quite beautiful and wonderfully clever ; 
enormous for sketches, some of them above 3 feet long 
and 18 or 20 inches wide, and though slight, not too 
rough, and with a most pleasing air of truthfulness 
about them. They were all arranged in the corridor, 
for the Queen to see after lunch, and we took the 
liberty of examining them till she came. He was there 
himself and explained them to her, an intelligent, 
active-looking youngish man, with very dark hair and 
eyes ; he is one of the very few who are still sanguine 
about poor Franklin. It was awful to see how slight 
and small the ship (not a very small one either in 
reality) looked among the gigantic icebergs and in 
the " pack." 

* Captain, afterwards Admiral Sir Edward Inglefield, K.C.B. 



CHAPTER XIV 

WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 

A play at Windsor — Heads d I'lmp^rcUrice — ^Toasting-forks at Harrow 
— Tableaux vivants performed by the Royal children — The begin- 
ning of the Crimean War — A children's party — The King of Portugal 
and his brother — The Tempete — A review in the quadrangle — 
Journey to Balmoral — A scanty lunch — Holyrood — A walk en 
famille — Out driving in a sociable — Beautiful scenery round Bal- 
moral — The Boulogne visit — Deer-stalking — Off to the front — 
News from the Crimea — Life in the Highlands — Sketching — Re- 
ported fall of Sebastopol — Not a " precedent" — Shopping at the 
" Merchant " — A servants' ball — Lord Burghersh. 

^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. ^rd, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — ^We arrived in very good time, and 
I was arrayed in my finery at 6.45, in time, to receive 
the Duchess of Kent. The play was a pretty sight 
altogether, as it always is, though Princess Royal and 
Prince of Wales are getting rather too old for sitting 
on the steps of the royal seat, as they do on these 
occasions ; but the six children all together looked 
very nice. Prince Arthur came to dinner and stood 
by his Papa and Mama, but went to bed before the 
play ; the others came into the drawing-room im- 
mediately after dinner, and went into the Rubens 
room with us all. The play in itself was dull and 
heavy, and Ariel the spirit looked sadly fat and sub- 
stantial, and the boards creaked awfully when she 
bounded about on the tiny stage. This afternoon 

249 



250 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

at half-past five we are invited to go down and see the 
royal children act their little play, which, I have no 
doubt, will be much more amusing than yesterday's 
grand affair. In the evening we are to dance, but who 
the dancers are to be we none of us know. I am going 
to wear my new blue and white gauze and all your 
turquoises, which I think will look very pretty with 
it. The Queen and Princess Royal's heads were done 
d Vlm-peratrice. She herself was very sweet and kind 
in manner, as she always is. The fashion in the house 
is to say that she was enthusiastically received on 
Tuesday, but she herself heard the hisses, and said so, 
and the generality of the world content themselves 
with saying that the people only seemed indifferent, 
not disaffected. . , . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward, Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. 5th, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I never saw anything so 
pretty as the children's little play on Friday evening, 
so nicely acted, and the little stage and all the dresses 
so beautifully got up, of course regardless of expense. 
Some of the Hood and Van de Weyer children and 
little Sybil Grey were called in for the minor parts ; 
and really the whole thing was most beautiful ; as to 
Princess Alice, her acting, and her little songs intro- 
duced were charming, and she is quite aware of it, 
and very proud of her succh. But I do think she is" 
getting rather old to be dressed like a little boy, which 
she is in this play ; her part being a little Savoyard 
such as we see in the streets. The Esquimaux that 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 251 

are just come over to this country were brought here 
for the Queen to see ; a young man and his wife, not 
taller than children of twelve years old, very dark 
with jet black hair, and rather Mongolian or Tartar 
looking, and a little boy of ten years old, about the 
size of May. They were dressed almost alike, in 
jackets with queer tails, hoods, and trousers of skins, 
and are strange-looking little creatures. On Friday 
evening we had a very gay little dance, which we kept 
up with great spirit till a quarter past twelve ; the 
two elder children dancing with us for an hour or so, 
and then being sent off to bed. Another bit of gossip, 
is that Mme. de Lieven ^ made a desperate attempt to 
win L. Napoleon for Russia, and asked an audience 
of the Empress, whom she had hitherto not pat- 
ronised, and was closeted with them both for three 
hours, but without success, and has since received 
notice to quit Paris, at which she is broken-hearted. 
All our gentlemen are boiling over with martial ardour ; 
Col. Grey declares he would like to be sent out in 
command of a brigade. Col. Seymour reports that 
the majority of the Coldstreams have already bought 
their outfits for the East, and he himself and several 
of his brother officers in the Sc. Fusiliers are 
preparing ; he has gone so far as to give his land- 
lord notice that he shall not require his lodgings 
after Saturday. 

Lady Ely is come from Paris perfectly overwhelmed 
with lovely bracelets and lockets from the Empress 
and quite devoted to her ; however, she is very nice 
in spite of this engouement. 

1 Princesse Lieven (n6e Benkendorf), wife of Prince Christophe 
Lieven, Ambassador at the Court of St. James', 1812-1834. 



252 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. ytk, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — Fancy my feelings on receiving 
a message on Sunday night through Lady Ely that the 
Queen wished Miss Byng and me to appear cotffSes 
d rimferatrice. Yesterday we had a household dinner ; 
but to-day I fear there is no hope for us. Luckily there 
is nobody staying here, so the party will be small, 
but I cannot describe how I hate the thoughts of it ; 
and all the jokes the gentlemen (who all, without 
exception, think it frightful) amuse themselves by 
cutting upon it only makes me dislike it more. I hear 
the ladies who wear it go among young men by the 
name of the bare-faced ladies, which is rather good, 
as it is undeniably true in the literal sense. I am sure 
if the Queen only heard a quarter of the remarks we 
do on the subject she would neither wear it herself 
nor try to make her ladies do so. The story goes that 
she told Lady Canning she thought it would become 
her ; to which Lady Canning replied she thought it 
would become Flora much more ; so Flora was vic- 
timised instead. And it appears to me something 
of the same kind passed on Sunday, for Lady Ely said 
the Queen asked her if it was very common at Paris, 
and she said yes ; then the Queen asked if she had 
ever worn it so, and she said no, her hair curled natur- 
ally, and she always wore ringlets, upon which the 
Queen told her to tell us how to do it. . . . 

I hear there has been a fuss at Harrow. You know 
the ten first boys are Monitors, with the right of in- 
flicting certain punishments on the little ones ; and 
one of these boys chastised a boy of Lord Hardwicke's, 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 253 

by beating him with the toasting-forks (their usual 
weapon) so as to hurt him severely. Lord Hard- 
wicke was frantic, and has taken his boy away ; and 
is furious at Vaughan's^ saying he approves of the 
principle, though he is not prepared to say that the 
Monitor did not exceed the proper limits of punish- 
ment on this occasion. At least, this is the story I 
heard, and the gentlemen, more than one, added that 
they heard that the system of bullying was terrible 
just now at Harrow ; but that may change, and often 
does, by two or three big boys, who happen to be 
bullies, leaving the School. I don't know what reason 
Col. Gordon may have for saying so ; but he says he 
is perfectly sure none of the Guards, in fact no troops 
will be sent to the East ; though it is quite right they 
should be ordered to be in readiness. . . . 

Windsor Castle, Feb. 8th, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We had a household dinner 
yesterday, so our coiffure h Vlmfiratrice is still hang- 
ing over us, and is to come off to-night ; it is too 
dreadful to think of. Lady Ely appeared in it last night 
at the household dinner in hopes of reconciling us to 
it, but the gentlemen were open-mouthed against it, 
and really some of them quite rude. There was a sort 
of alarm of an attack upon a larder at the north-east 
corner of the terrace on Monday night about half- 
past eleven, and the sentry, seeing live or six men with 
blackened faces, gave the alarm. His gun was not 
loaded (they never are, on purpose, except by special 
orders) or he would have fired among them, but he 
called the next sentry, who called the officer of the 
Guard, who called Col. Biddulph, but when they got 
' Charles Vaughan, 1816-1897, head master of Harrow, 



254 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

to the place the men were gone. The gentlemen, 
seeing five or six men with blacked faces, gave the 
alarm . . . the gentlemen are inclined to think they 
are poachers trying to snare hares and rabbits, as there 
is no possibility of anyone effecting an entrance in 
that part ; but last night there were patrols out and 
all proper precautions. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. gth, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — ^We were duly Imperatriced last 
night, and it did not look so bad as I expected ; how- 
ever, the gentlemen gave us no comfort, and laughed 
at us unmercifully, except the Prince, who told Lady 
Ely he though it very becoming. The Queen did not 
make any remark whatever upon it, which we thought 
hardly gracious, seeing we only made ourselves into 
such figures by her orders ; but I hear it was the same 
when Flora did it, which was equally by her command. 
She herself was dressed the same way. 

It is a very bad day and we are none of us going out 
except the Queen, who has desired Lady Ely to walk 
with her to visit Mrs. Phipps ; luckily the distance is 
not great. . . . We did a good deal of sightseeing with 
Lady Alice this morning. . . . The best thing we did 
was, by mistake, getting into the Children's little 
stage, which was all arranged for the Tableaux to- 
morrow ; it is an awful secret, like all children's 
secrets, being supposed to be a surprise for the Queen 
and Prince to-morrow, and Roberts was rather in a 
State when he found we had been there j but we 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 255 

comforted him by telling him we knew all about it and 
were patterns of discretion. I am sadly afraid we 
shall not be admitted to see the Tableaux, which, of 
course, we are all dying to do. The Bunsens^ and 
Mandevilles ' come to-day and Charles Murray. Pro- 
fessor Sedgwick is invited, but it is not sure whether 
he can get the invite in time to come. 

Windsor Castle, Feb. iith, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — ^We saw the royal children act 
their Tableaux yesterday afternoon, which we had so 
much wished to do ; it was all Lady Caroline's doing, 
as the Queen, not knowing exactly what was coming, 
and how it would go off, was nervous and had not 
meant to let a soul come and see it. . . . Lady 
Caroline told them she had seen the rehearsal, and it 
was so pretty, and the children looked so well that she 
really thought she might take upon herself to say they 
wouldhave no cause to regret letting anyone be present; 
upon which they said very well ; but the Prince said 
if they asked one visitor they must ask all, which was 
agreed to ; and then what the Queen calls " the gentle- 
men of the Service " came under discussion ; Col. 
Grey and Col. Phipps were assented to of course, and 
then the Prince said, " And Lord Camoys, he is quite 
harmless " ; and " Mr. Wellesley and Col. Biddulph, 
I don't think they will hurt us, as the man says in 
Money (Bulwer's play) " ; so they were sent for and it 
began directly. The scenes were the four seasons, 
Princess Alice as Spring, scattering flowers, and speak- 

* Christian, Baron Bunsen, 1797-1860, Prussian Ambassador to 
the Court ot St. James', 1842-1854. 

• William, Viscount Mandeville, afterwards seventh Duke of Man- 
chester, and his wife, Countess I^ouise, daughter of Coynt d'Alten of 
Pa^over, 



256 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

ing an appropriate little speech out of Thomson's 
Seasons; the curtain then fell, and presently rose 
again showing Prince Arthur in a very short and scanty 
blue frock, asleep on the ground, and Princess Royal 
as Summer, in a rosy light, oppressed as it were with 
heat ; she spoke a little speech too out of the Seasons ; 
and we then, after a short interval, had the third scene, 
Autumn, Prince Alfred as Bacchus, in a leopard skin 
and crowned with grapes ; and then Winter, Prince 
of Wales as an old man warmly dressed and icicles 
hanging about his coat and hat, and Princess Louise 
also dressed in character, and very prettily, but only 
Prince of Wales recited the appropriate bit of Thom- 
son, hers was a dumb part ; and then the closing scene, 
showing them all in a group, with Princess Helena 
appearing in the clouds above, in a white robe holding 
a cross ; she then spoke her little speech, which was 
made for the occasion, and told us she was " Christ- 
loving Helena," who had appeared to bless this auspi- 
cious day and tender their homage to their parents 
(in verse) who, happy " in subjects' loyalty, in chil- 
dren's love," were always to mind and fix their eyes 
" on Heaven above," and a few more lines to the same 
effect. It was the prettiest thing possible, and the 
parents might well feel proud and happy with their 
little group of eight round them. After all was over 
the Prince called to them to come out and jump down 
the stage among us, and the curtain was drawn up ; 
but one of them piteously remarked, " We can't get 
through the atmosphere " (the gauze behind which 
they act) ; however, the atmosphere was somehow 
pushed aside and they came down, when the Queen 
was so shocked at Prince Arthur's scanty attire (though 
his nurse assured her he had " flesh-coloured decen- 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 257 

cies " on) that she sent him away to be dressed, but 
when he came back all the difference I saw was a pair 
of socks that hardly came above his ankles. . . . 

War with Russia had now become inevitable. In 
the previous December Palmerston, who headed the 
war party, had resigned owing to the vacillations of 
the Aberdeen Cabinet ; when he was recalled it was 
a certain evidence that his counsels would prevail. 
The Queen, who had laboured fruitlessly to preserve 
the peace of Europe and had, together with the Prince, 
been censured in the Press for so doing, now en- 
deavoured to impress on her Ministers the necessity 
of organising the army destined for the Crimea. 

The treaty of alliance between England, France 
and the Porte was not signed until March 12th, but 
the Queen's message to Parliament, saying that 
negotiations with Russia had broken dowm, was de- 
livered on February 27th. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Feb. 12th, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — ... I can think of nothing 
but the Guards going, it feels so awfully near and real. 
Col. Gordon is going as Deputy-Adjutant-General I 
believe, and he is gone to London to-day to break it 
to Mrs. Gordon. . . . He looked very low yesterday, 
and we were all very sorry for him ; there was a chil- 
dren's dance at Frogmore, to which we all and the six 

R 



258 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

eldest children went, and he had to dance and make 
himself useful with the rest, as the party was not 
large and the Queen desired the grown-up people to 
dance too. The dance was very pretty, the children 
always look so nice in any numbers ; and it was rather 
nice to see the Queen fussing about getting partners 
for her little girls and arranging them in the quadrilles 
just like any of the other Mamas, and then taking a 
turn in the waltz with Prince of Wales, and then one 
with Princess Royal. She was very poorly herself 
too, and had not tasted dinner, but as usual " made 
an effort " and seemed all the better for it. 

Buckingham Palace, Feh. 25th, 1854, 

Dearest Mama, — I am just come in from a very 
pleasant drive with the Queen and the two little Prin- 
cesses, in the course of which the Queen desired me to 
get the miniatures of Ois and me by Ross, as she should 
like to see them. We dined at a quarter to six and after- 
wards went to the Princess's to see Kean in Richard 
III ; very fine, and the whole play magnificently got 
up ; I think it is the part I have ever seen Kean act 
that I like him best in ; it was really splendid in some 
places, and nowhere bad, though his voice is hardly 
equal to his efforts in some of the bursts of passion. 

The Queen told me that when Ois comes to town 
she should like to see the boys and I think she also 
said the little girl, but specially mentioned the boys, 
and that they could play with her little Princes ; I 
think Ois will be pleased and I must write and 
tell her. 

Adieu, dearest Mama ; we have a dinner this even- 
ing and one on Monday ; I don't know who come on 
that day, and this evening I only know of the Shaftes- 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 259 

bury s^ and Marquis d'Azeglio.* . . . Best love to Pap. 
H.M. told me she was so glad to see him looking so 
well the other day at the Lev6e, and I in return said 
how gratified he was at her telling him so. The 
accounts of the Duchess of Gloucester are not very 
good ; she is no worse this morning, but we don^t feel 
as if that was satisfactory. The Queen stopped there 
herself to inquire, as the Duchess did not allow her 
to go and see her yesterday. 

In June Pedro IV, the King of Portugal, and his 
brother the Duke of Oporto, spent a month with the 
Queen ; they went with her on June 10 to open the 
Crystal Palace at Sydenham, which had been con- 
structed from material used in the great Exhibition. 

Windsor Castle, /«»»e i6th, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — Our dinner in St. George's Hall 
and our evening of dancing were much more amusing 
than before, though I was awfully tired, more with 
the races than the dancing. I danced a capital reel 
with Lord Mansfield, and the Tempete with the little 
Oporto, whom I had to take regular charge of and 
push him to the right or to the left and make him go 
through his figures all right, and he kept fast hold of 
my hand as if he thought something dreadful would 
happen if he let it go, just as a child clings to one. 
This morning, as the Duchess of Sutherland was lazy 
about the review, and the Queen sent word two of the 
ladies might go, I being in waiting went instead of 

* Anthony, seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, and his wife. Lady Emily 
Cowper, daughter of first Earl Cowper. 

' Vittorio, Marchese d'Azeglio, Italian Ambassador to Court of St. 
James', bom 1815. 



26o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

her, with Lady Mt. Edgcumbe, and it was a very pretty 
sight ; we saw the Blues, commanded by Col. Forester, 
go through all their evolutions and manoeuvres, and 
once they came so close upon our carriages in charg- 
ing, before the word was given for them to stop, that 
I almost thought they would never be able to pull 
their horses up quick enough, but they did, most 
beautifully, and wheeled off to each side. Then we 
went to the Cavalry Barracks, where they all arrived 
at the same time, and we saw them all dismissed and 
file off to each side of their stables, and the Prince and 
the King of Portugal and Due d'Oporto walked through 
the stables ; the Queen and all the ladies staid in the 
carriages. Then we came home and inspected the 
Forty-sixth in the Quadrangle ; they acquitted them- 
selves very well, considering that they are all very 
young men and that the regiment is very weak in 
numbers just now. One unlucky boy of an officer, 
when told to face about, faced the wrong way, and the 
old sergeant who was watching over him had to turn 
him round by the shoulders to the opposite side, the 
Colonel being in a great fuss and apostrophizing him 
and his company as " you stupid boys," but kindly 
enough desiring them only to get on quick now. 
Since then we have been all over the State rooms 
with those two nice handsome Abercorn girls. . . . 
My coral parasol attracted much attention at the races, 
which was satisfactory, as it was certainly of no other 
use in such weather. 



In 1852 the Queen bought the Balmoral estate, 
which she had previously leased of the Fife trustees. 
She afterwards enlarged the property and built the 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 261 

Castle, which was only just completed in the autumn 
of 1854. T^^ waitings at Balmoral were not taken by 
the Maids of Honour in rotation, as were those at 
Windsor, but were specially arranged by the Queen, 
and were much sought after on this account. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. i6th, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — Here we are at Balmoral after a 
most rapid and prosperous journey. I daresay,however, 
you will have seen all about the journey fully detailed 
in the papers, as a lot of reporters travelled down in 
the special train with us, among others one who had 
on his card " Mr. . . . Fashionable Department of 
the Morning Post.^^ At York, we had lunch, the first 
day, with the Royal party, the consequence of which 
was that we got very little to eat, as the Royalty did 
not seem much to approve of the York cookery, and 
kept changing their minds and sending away their 
plates to try one thing after another, in a way that was 
very tantalizing to us, who had breakfasted at seven ; 
the only thing that kept up our spirits was the recol- 
lection that the Royal servants, who don't either like 
to starve themselves or see others starve, had put an 
elaborate luncheon-box into our carriage, in which 
we had seen two large packets of grouse and partridges, 
besides biscuits and grapes, so that we could always 
fall back upon that ; but we did at last, thanks to 
Whiting, get some mutton broth, and cold beef, though 
I am not sure the grouse would not have been better. 



262 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Yesterday at Banchory we lunched with the gentle- 
men, as the Royal room was too small for us, and were 
much better taken care of . ... I was very glad to see 
Holyrood all arranged for the Queen ; but it is a dull, 
gloomy place, though interesting from its associations. 
We had hardly all got in, when I spied the Queen and 
Prince, with Prince of Wales, quietly threading their 
way unattended to Arthur's Seat ; and in the evening 
the Prince said it had struck him that it was a pity 
there were not a good many benches put about, on 
the hill, and some summer-houses built either for rest 
or shelter, as at present there was not even a rock to 
keep one from a shower, and trees we know will not 
grow on so exposed a place, and he proceeded to say 
he thought it would encourage the people to go up 
there en famille, taking their dinner with them, on 
Sunday afternoons, instead of getting tipsy in the 
town, if they found comfortable arrangements made 
for them in their walks ; adding that he sometimes 
thought we did not pay attention enough to things 
which, though they might appear trifling in them- 
selves, might yet influence the habits and customs of 
a whole nation. I daresay he is right, for it seems rather 
reasonable. . . . The Emperor and Empress^ are in- 
vited for the middle or end of October, and have been 
told that the Queen will be charmed to make the 
Empress' acquaintance ; but they have not given a 
decided answer yet ; but it is supposed they will 
come. The Prince was very much pleased with the 
Emperor, and Genl. Grey thinks just as I do, that 
the Queen will take an Engouement for them both 
if they come ; she and the Prince always like new 
people. ... 

* The Emperor and Empress of the French. 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 263 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. igth, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — I was rather disgusted yesterday, 
the weather was nasty and the whole thing tiresome ; 
but to-day the sun is bright, and though the N.W. 
wind is bitter, I bore it like a heroine for two hours 
and a half, and have got a large coloured sketch of the 
Dee and the mountains done ; it is tolerable, but I 
don't think it one of my best ; but as it is scarcely 
dry yet I can hardly judge. This has made me so 
busy all morning that I hardly know if I shall have 
time to finish this, as we are going almost immediately 
out driving in the Sociable with the Queen, the Prince 
being out deer-stalking ; and H.M. desired me to take 
my little sketch-book out as we were going to the 
waterfall, and I might find some pretty scraps. She 
found me sketching as she was going out on her pony 
with Princess Helena on another, and three ghillies 
on foot, and was very gracious about my drawing. 

. . . We are just come in from our drive, and it 
was most delightful, and the country, up in the direc- 
tion of Invercauld, quite splendid. . . . We did not 
draw, but looked for cranberries, which are a failure 
this year ; but we found one or two. Princess Alice 
and Prince Alfred were with us, Prince Alfred sitting 
on the box by the coachman, and a most fascinating 
and good-looking young Highlander, Johnny Brown, 
sitting in a little seat behind. The Farquharsons are 
the Marquis of Carabas of this part of the world ; the 
Queen says they have a tract of sixty miles of country 
about here, but adds that they are such kind neigh- 
bours that they allow her and the Prince to do whatever 



264 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

they like in the part near Balmoral. I must say it is 
charming country and thoroughly enjoyable ; so dry, 
and all granite at the bottom, with heather and fern 
growing wherever a little soil lodges, and Craig 
Cluny, Ben-na-buird, Loch-na-gar and quantities of 
other beautiful hills that I cannot name, rising all 
round. The Queen says Invercauld is the finest place 
she has ever seen ; superior even to Taymouth ; 
such a panorama of mountains on all sides, and the 
house standing on a sort of plateau in a beautiful 
situation among them all. 

. . . The Prince is just come, in great spirits, 
having shot four stags ; I suppose we shall see them 
laid out by torch-light this evening ; that is a ceremony 
I don't admire ; it was done on Saturday, but there 
was only one stag. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 20th, 1854, 

Dearest Papa, — I have done another sketch of 
Loch-na-gar in spite of the bitter wind, and am very 
glad to have it though it is not good, but it is a nice 
souvenir. This afternoon, as there were no orders, 
the Queen and Prince having gone alone deer- stalking, 
the Duchess and I took a long and beautiful drive in 
Mrs. Phipps' ^ carriage to Ballater and round by the 
Pass, a fine rocky sort of defile. I recant all I said of 
not admiring the country ; it is beautiful and charm- 
ing ; not so line as Glen Quoich to my taste, but 
superior to anything else I have seen in the Highlands, 
and superior to it in one respect, the rich woods of 

1 Margaret, daughter of Venerable Henry Bathurst, Archdeacon 
of Norwich, m. Col. the Hon. C. Phipps. 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 265 

birch, Scots fir and larch that clothe the foot of most 
of the hills. The tops are all bare and wild. There 
is rather a want of water, nothing but the Dee and a 
few mountain torrents, the Garrawalt and such like, 
which are all very low just now, though I have no 
doubt, by the look of their beds, that they often come 
down " like Cedron in flood," or like the Leader, 
which we are better acquainted with ; but no beauti- 
ful lake anywhere like Loch Quoich. 

... I must gather up the crumbs I have collected 
of the Boulogne visit for you. The Prince was very 
much pleased with the Emperor, and the Entente is 
now more Cordiale than ever. But that is pretty 
nearly the only thing that appears to have been pleas- 
ing. Genl. Grey says they got nothing to eat, and he 
had to dine on a slice of melon after his soup, half a 
cutlet, and the leg of a quail ; the wines were sour, 
the roads dusty, and horses for the English suite very 
scantily provided, even at the Reviews, and the French 
suite did not trouble themselves much with our 
gentlemen, but rather left them to themselves. As 
we all transgress in this respect with regard to the 
foreigners that come to Windsor, he (Genl. Grey), 
felt that it served them right, and so bore it philo- 
sophically. I have no news ; the Queen anxiously 
expecting some from the East every day, but they 
have none later than the starting of the expedition on 
the seventh. Poor Col. Boyle is dead — of fever — . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother, 
the Countess of Lauderdale 

Balmoral, Sept. 21st, 1854. 
My dearest Granny, — . . . The Queen cer- 
tainly dispenses with all show and grandeur here, and 



266 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

enjoys herself like any other lady, for the equipage 
consisted of the Sociable, with a groom on the box, 
driving a pair of grey ponies, and Prince Alfred sitting 
on the box by him ; the Queen, Princess Alice, the 
Duchess of Wellington, and me inside, one outrider 
on a grey pony, and a good-looking Highland ghillie 
sitting on a little sort of perch arranged behind the 
carriage. Yesterday the Queen went out directly after 
lunch, deer-stalking with the Prince, but they had 
no sport, and had to walk home about four miles, 
the carriage that was to meet them having met 
with an accident, one of the ponies, having got fright- 
ened, kicked over the traces, broke the splinter-bar, 
and rushed across the Dee, taking the carriage and the 
other pony with him ; and there the carriage upset 
and is so much broken that it had to be left there for 
the night. 

The Prince had better sport the day before, 
having shot four fine stags, which was very appropriate 
as the Farquharsons^ dined here that evening, and we 
all went out by torch-light to see them, and the Prince 
was duly congratulated both for his skill and good luck. 
He appears in full Highland dress of Royal Stuart 
tartan every night, but I don't think it becomes him, 
he is rather too fat and substantial for it. Sir G. 
Grey has been laid up with an accident, and our party 
is, in consequence, very small indeed ; sometimes 
Sir J. Clark comes over from Birk Hall, and very often 
Dr. Robertson, the Agent on the Balmoral property, 
is here, but one evening we were only six ; Col. 
Phipps and Genl. Grey at top and bottom ; the Q. 
and Prince on one side ; and the Duchess of Welling- 

* James Farquharson of Invercauld and his wife, Janet, eldest 
daughter of General Francis Dundas, 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 267 

ton and me opposite to them. They say it was the 
smallest dinner-party ever known here, but it was 
rather pleasant, as the Q. and Prince talked a good 
deal. 

No news of the Expedition to the Crimea yet, but 
we are beginning to expect some very anxiously. 
They sailed on the 7th, and were all to be at the 
point of disembarkation about the nth or 12th. 
The cholera was decreasing very rapidly, and the cases 
were much less often fatal by the last accounts. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 22nd, 1854, 

Dearest Mama, — We have been to Birk Hall to- 
day with Mrs. Phipps ; it is the place that belongs to 
the Prince of Wales, and Sir James Clark has it till he 
comes of age, and then they will see what he himself 
likes to do with it. It is a small house, but a pretty 
place, and the view down the Muich to Ballater from 
it is lovely. This morning I did a sketch of Loch-na- 
gar, the best I have got done ; but they are none of 
them good. I am afraid I am very bad at mountains ; 
I never have half the trouble with my buildings, and 
they always succeed. Baron Stockmar is just arrived ; 
the man whose death we saw in the newspapers was 
his brother, so our little Baron is still in the land of the 
living, but I hear he is, as usual, very dyspeptic (I 
never know what that means) and very low about 
himself. 

Yesterday the Prince shot two stags, but he says 
they were very fat. We have had no venison yet, but I 
hear that when it once begins we have a haunch every 



268 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

day till we go, and while we are eating it we are 
entertained with the story of where it was shot, and 
which day, and how the Prince got a shot at him, also 
how many shots it took to finish him, and whether he 
was well shot. I wonder which is most amusing, 
having the stag shot over again, or the fox hunted 
over again, at the dinner-table. The Queen seems quite 
as keen as the Prince about deer-stalking, and often 
goes with him, which, it is shrewdly suspected, he 
wishes she would let alone. We went all over the new 
house yesterday ; it will be very nice, but not at all 
large for the number of people they will have to put 
up ; the view from the drawing-room, and still more 
from the Queen's sitting-room just above it, looking 
up the Dee towards Craig Cluny, is beautiful. Our 
apartment is very comfortable, but I am told that as 
far as view goes, ours will be limited to the opposite 
wall, with an occasional peep into the gentlemen's 
windows, which are to be just opposite ; they are not 
built yet, as only the main body of the house is going 
on, and they are to be in a sort of wing. 

I think Ch. Fitz Roy^ must have misunderstood 
Lady Caroline, as our departure was settled, I was 
told, when I came in waiting, for Friday, October 6, 
which just gave three weeks for us here ; but it is 
uncertain again, and may be two or three days later ; 
it is supposed that it will a little depend upon the news 
from the East. There is a delicious map of the Crimea, 
by which we see that the place where the troops 
landed is about forty miles, as the crow flies, from 
Sevastopol (as the Duke of Newcastle has desired the 

^ Lord Charles Fitz Roy, second son of the fifth Duke of Grafton, 
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, m. 1847 Anna, youngest daughter 
of James Balfour of Whittinghame ; she d. 1857. Lord Charles 
succeeded his brother as seventh Duke of Grafton in 1882. 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 269 

Prince to call it) and may be fifty-five or sixty by the 
road round the coast. They all landed on the 14th, 
without opposition and most successfully, but we 
have no details as it is a telegraphic despatch. How 
one wishes one could see what they are doing now. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 2^rd, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — I was very much taken by surprise 
and distressed when Col. Phipps said at breakfast he 
had just got a letter from Charles Fitz Roy to say he 
was oif to the East immediately, and only waiting till 
they found a ship for him to go out in. Poor Nan ! 
I wonder how she bears it ; I suppose she is gone to 
London too, to see the last of him. 

. . . The Coldstream has been awfully unlucky; 
two Lieut.-Cols. dead since they left, and Col. Crombie 
has been twice reported to be dead, and Col. Phipps 
read a passage out of young Higginson's letter, who 
is, I think. Adjutant of the Scots Fusilier Guards, in 
which he said there was not one Captain or Lieut.- 
Colonel in the Coldstream fit for duty, except the 
mounted officers — this was on the 6th, before they 
started from Varna. The place the troops landed is 
about forty miles north of Sevastopol, a little south 
of Eupatoria — but it was not certain whether they 
might land the heavy artillery a good bit nearer Sevas- 
topol so as to save as much land carriage as possible. 
Fifty-eight thousand French, Turks, and English alto- 
gether were landed. Lord de Ros ^ is coming home, 
and so is young Wellesley, Lord Cowley's son, on 

* William, twenty-third Baron de Ros, 1797-1874. 



270 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

account of health, and Percy Herbert too, or at least 
he is not gone to the Crimea. The French have no 
cavalry at all with the expedition, so that our troops 
have to take the left, on the march, the French being 
thus between us and our ships, which Gen. Grey does 
not like. They all dislike St. Arnaud,^ and say they 
cannot trust him ; Admiral Dundas ^ says he has 
complete command over the French fleet, and tries 
to have the same over the English fleet as well as 
army, which both Admiral Dundas and Lord Raglan * 
resist as much as they can. . . . 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 25th, 1854, 

Dearest Mama, — ^The Queen drove this afternoon 
to Invercauld, but alas ! the sociable was full (and 
very full too) without me ; the party comprised the 
Queen, two Princesses, and the Duchess inside, the 
coachman and General Grey on the box, and a High- 
land gillie behind ; a good load for one pair of ponies, 
seven miles there and back. . . . 

We had a very good sermon yesterday from Dr. 
Grant, the Moderator of the General Assembly ; he 
did not knock it into one in the usual Scots style, 
which was a comfort ; and I was amused, but rather 
pleased, to see how the Presbyterians are trying to 
adopt and fit little bits of our service into theirs. . . . 
We drove to church in the char-a-banc, in a pelting 

^ Jacques Leroy de St, Arnaud, 1 796-1 854, commanding French 
forces in the Crimea . 

^ Admiral Henry Dundas, son of Robert Dundas of Arniston. 

' Lord Fitz Roy Somerset, first Baron Raglan, commander-in- 
chief, born 1788, died in the Crimea, 1855, 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 271 

shower, which was cruel for all our finery, which was 
sported for church, best bonnets and so on ; the 
Queen said she knew the rain came out of spite because 
she had on a new bonnet — a very pretty white silk 
capote with feathers — and we all agreed most cordially 
with H.M. that it did always rain when one was smart. 
In the afternoon, as I was walking on the heath, de- 
spising the rain as I had nothing on but winceys and 
waterproofs, the Princesses and Miss lUhardt, who 
had taken refuge at the keeper's, sent a laddie to tell 
me I had better come in too and walk home with them 
when it was over. As it was cats and dogs, I thought I 
might as well do as they bid me, and we all came merrily 
home together after the storm. 

Have you heard anything more about Ch. Fitz Roy 
and poor little Nan ? When does he start ? and 
where will she spend the winter ? I suppose with 
Aunty, as she will be the greatest of blessings to her. 

The Emperor of the French has given no answer 
yet to our invitation, except that he hopes to see the 
Queen and Prince at Paris some time or other ; and 
they are a little disgusted at his want of empressement 
when they had been led to suppose he was dying to 
be asked here. 



^he Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 26th, 1854, 
Dearest Papa, — ^This was a most beautiful day . . . 
the hills looked quite lovely in the evening light ; the 
Queen and some of the children drove to Birkhall, so 
I took a little turn and did a little sketch in my in- 
cident book. My large sketch of Loch-na-gar is not 



272 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

yet finished, as I have washed out all the foreground, 
but I still think it promises well, and it is a beautiful 
subject. If there were but a little lake, or even a 
burn down the valley, it would be faultless. 

What good sport Ed has had with the partridges ! 
I am so glad he is all right again. Here, Col. Phipps 
and Baron Stockmar went out yesterday after grouse 
and only bagged two brace and a half between them ; 
but the Prince declares it cannot be for want of birds, 
as he, who was out deerstalking, could have shot any 
number, and they kept crowing and disturbing the 
deer to his great disgust, so that just as he had dragged 
himself on all fours about two hundred yards, passing 
by two hinds and three poor stags, and was very near 
within shot of a very fine one which he wanted, they 
all bolted ; and though he fired at his stag, it was too 
long a shot and it did nothing, so he came home 
venisonless. As, however, there are twenty-two 
haunches in the larder, it did not signify as far as use 
went, but only for the honour and glory. We have 
had a haunch every day since Saturday, and I suppose 
shall go on eating one every day while we are here. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Balmoral, Sept. 2y'th, 1854, 

Dearest Mama, — ^The Duchess of Wellington is 
gone and, much as I regret her, I am looking forward 
to the walks and rides Lady Desart means to take 
every day ; this afternoon we wandered out a long 
way up the valley towards Loch-na-gar, crossed a 
little burn on stepping-stones very cleverly, and wan- 
dered about among the heather. I did an incident of 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 273 

Loch-na-gar and have finished my large sketch and really 
like it. The Queen saw it last night and also looked 
at my small sketches, and has asked for a copy of one, 
a sort of panorama of the hills up the Dee. She was 
very kind and, by the way of helping me with my 
foreground, sent me her " view album," as she calls 
it, in which were several drawings by Lady Canning, 
Leitch and others, which were a great help really, and 
very pretty to look at besides. . . . 

I went out this morning for a moment to see the 
transplanting machine move a tree, lifting it out of one 
place and carrying it to any other where they have a hole 
ready prepared for it. It is very neat and ingenious, 
but costs ^^30, which is a serious consideration ; and 
this morning they did a little tree first very successfully, 
but when they tried the larger one, it declined to move 
. . . another they tried was successfully removed. 

I don't think I have ever answered your question 
about Paris ; I can't say I am at all keen about it ; I 
hate the crossing,and I don't look forward to any pleasure 
we get there except seeing the Louvre again. . . . 

Balmoral, Sept. 2glh, 1854. 

Dearest Mama, — I am just come in from a long 
ride on ponies ; the party was Lady Desart, Gen. 
Grey, and I, and we went to the falls of the Garra- 
walt and I enjoyed it excessively. This morning she 
and I walked up to the cottage on the hill above this, 
and sketched looking down the Dee towards Aber- 
geldie. . . . The day was so beautiful, warm, calm 
and sunny, almost finer than yesterday. We took a 
long drive with the Queen yesterday afternoon, cross- 
ing the Dee and getting into another valley, the 
valley of the Ardeer, to Invercauld, the lodge of which 



274 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

we passed, and it must be a most beautiful place ; all 
the higher hills, Ben A* an, Ben-na-buird and Ben-na- 
muich-dhui are visible from it, with many beautiful 
lower ones besides. We recrossed the Dee by a bridge 
close to Invercauld Lodge, from which are lovely views 
looking both up and down on all the hills near Bal- 
moral, with Loch-na-gar towering above them. 

We sat down for a few minutes to sketch, but 
not any of the fine views, rather to my regret, 
but a scrubby Scots fir, of which we made each 
of us a bad slight pencil sketch . . . and then, 
as we were driving home we met a gillie who told 
us the Prince was coming down that road and the 
ponies had just been sent to meet him, so we 
turned back in the hopes of falling in with him, and 
we were not disappointed, for we met him, jolting 
along, very tired but very much pleased with his 
day's sport, five stags and a hind ; he ought not to 
have shot the latter, but I believe he fired into the 
herd and the hind fell. We had a vacant place in 
the carriage, which he took, and we brought him 
home in triumph, attended by MacDonald, Duncan 
the keeper, and a gillie, on ponies. ... I must have 
made an extraordinary slip of the pen if I ever said the 
Queen was to go to Osborne . . . she always goes to 
Windsor from Balmoral, and never back to Osborne. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Ocl. isl, 1854, 
Dearest Papa, — . . . There were two telegraphic 
despatches this morning, one from Lord Stratford,^ 

^ Stratford Canning, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, at this time 
Ambassador to Constantinople, 1 786-1 880. 




< 

o 

1-1 
< 

CQ 
H 

c« 

O 

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Q 

o 
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01 ^ 






a~ 




WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 275 

Sept. 23rd, to say we had gained a victory at Alma, 
but with loss of 1400 killed and wounded in the 
British army and about the same in the French — 
and they say we shall get no list, or details of any 
kind, for eight or ten days — how anxious one must 
be during that time ! The second despatch was less 
authentic, being only a report from Bucharest that 
Sevastopol had fallen — it was dated Sept. 28, and came 
from Omar Pacha ^ and Colquhoun — I don't know his 
proper rank, so must use this free and easy style of 
mentioning him. . . . The Queen goes to-morrow 
to the hut at Altnagusach, but I am not sure whether 
she stays there till Wednesday or not. ... I am to 
remain here. . . . The ball to the servants and re- 
tainers about the place is fixed for Thursday ; they say it 
is a pretty sight, the ball-room dressed up with heather 
and broom, and all the men in Highland dresses. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Balmoral, Oct. yd, 1854, 
Dearest Mama, — ... I am here alone while the 
Queen is at Altnagusach (she can't bear it to be called 
the Hut) ; fortunately the Phippses are quite full 
with Sir G. and Mr. Grey, so I only go to Abergeldy 
to dinner, tite-d-tite, with Genl. Grey in the carriage, 
which the Queen after some consideration allowed, 
because, I suppose, she saw there was no help for it, 
but under the special proviso that " it was not to be 
drawn into a precedent," and it seems that as she was 
getting on her pony yesterday morning, the last thing 
she said was to repeat that, so that she went away 
with the word " precedent " on her lips, to the great 

* Michael Latas, Omar Pasha, colonel in Ottoman army, 1806-1871. 



276 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

amusement of our two gentlemen. We are in a con- 
stant state of excitement about telegraphic messages, 
but of course when one does come, it only tells us 
what is in the papers the next day. What a shame 
of the Times to talk of 2800 killed ! It is the num- 
ber of wounded in the allied army, and they say 
the usual average of killed is about one to six 
wounded, or sometimes in bad battles one in six. I 
believe the Emperor and Empress are coming over in 
November, but it is not quite sure which day. . . . 
I have invested zs. (^d. in a striped blue and white 
petticoat of ticking, in imitation of Lady Desart; 
we both bought them at the shop in the village, the 
" merchant " as he is called ; they are nice, for they 
are not so hot and heavy as linseywoolsey, and they look 
better than a white one, if one's gown is much tucked 
up, besides not getting so easily torn and dirtied. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Balmoral, Oct. /^th, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — ^The Queen and Prince are just 
come back from Altnagusach, pleased on the whole, 
as he has shot a stag with a very fine head, the finest 
by far that he has got this year, and as they want some 
handsome ones to decorate the new house it is very 
acceptable. ... I was walking on the hills above the 
house this afternoon, and saw great preparations 
making for a magnificent bonfire, which is to be lighted 
and rockets sent up, as soon as we have the official 
confirmation of the fall of Sevastopol ; as yet, though 
the Prince inclines to believe in it as the news has 
come through more than one channel, they don't 
think it certain enough to light their bonfire. We 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 277 

are all very anxious to hear more — Sir G. Grey went 
South this morning, and Sir J. Graham is expected 
this afternoon, but he will probably not bring any 
fresh news — at any rate the papers will give it you 
before this reaches you. I hear that the deference 
shown for Lord Raglan's opinion is extreme, by the 
French generals ; but they carefully abstain from 
letting it appear in any written documents, content- 
ing themselves with following his advice implicitly; 
indeed Gen. Grey and the others were saying that 
Sir E. Lyons ^ and Lord Raglan were the only people 
who were answerable for the expedition having been 
undertaken at all, and if successful, the credit ought to 
be theirs. At the last moment, St. Arnaud wanted to 
put off the invasion of the Crimea till next spring, but 
said he would abide by Lord Raglan's decision and Lord 
R. said " we'll go." . . . 

Balmoral, Oct. 6th, 1854. 
Dearest Papa, — So it was all a false report, and 
Sebastopol is not ours yet- — I only hope it may be 
but a short delay, and that we may soon get authentic 
news of its being taken. Meantime, we are very glad 
we did not light our bonfire, which the Queen was 
extremely anxious to do on Wednesday, and was only 
prevented by General Grey and Baron Stockmar, who, 
though they were inclined to believe the report, still 
were a little sceptical. What an awful loss our 
army's is ! Nearly 2500 killed and wounded out of 
26,000 ! and so many officers ! How one longs for 
the lists ! They say, the reason we cannot take 
many guns is having so little cavalry, its particular 
use is on those sort of occasions. I can understand 

* Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, afterwards Baron Lyons of Christ- 
church, succeeded Admiral Dundas in the Crimea in 1855, 1790-1858. 



278 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

that Infantry cannot easily catch up the horses and 
guns, unless they are in extreme disorder, and don't 
know which way to go. We had the ball to the ser- 
vants and gillies last night . . . the floor was rather 
rough and fatiguing, though we enjoyed it while we 
were there very much. The men were mostly in 
Highland dresses, either Stuart tartan, or their own 
(for those who have one), at their discretion — but 
several were in coats and trousers, and of course all 
the house-servants were in their usual dress. The 
Queen did not dance, nor the Prince either, but the 
children danced two or three reels among themselves, 
really beautifully. We danced with the gillies and 
out-door servants, gardener, keeper, and so on. I 
don't know whether that becoming dress may have 
something to do with it, but really the men looked 
just as gentlemanlike, and less awed and embarrassed 
by being shown off before the Queen, than most 
of our gentlemen do on similar occasions. I have 
often heard that all Highlanders think themselves 
born gentlemen, and I suppose that gives them so 
much self-possession, but it really is remarkable. 

Lady Desart told me this afternoon, by the Queen's 
desire, that, as she goes through London from Hull, I 
had better leave her there ; so I shall be left to my fate, 
with Hoff arth luckily, at the Great Northern Station, to 
find my way home as best I may ... I dare say she does 
it because she thinks it is more convenient to me as well 
as to her — and Lady Desart is quite surprised to hear I 
don't quite like going about in a cab with my maid, as 
she constantly does it. . . . 

Balmoral, Oct, nth, 1854. 

Dearest Papa, — ^We are off to-morrow for Holy- 
rood . . . the next day for Hull, where we sleep at 



WINDSOR AND BALMORAL 279 

the inn ; and on Saturday we make a triumphal tour 
of Hull in carriages, then go on board the Fairy^ 
which has been sent round there on purpose, and 
steam down the river sixteen miles to Grimsby. At 
Grimsby we lunch, drive through the town, and get 
to the railway station at two, when we immediately 
set out for London, where we shall be at 5.45 p.m., 
and I shall get into the Royal vehicle which General 
Grey has ordered for me, and come home. 

We have got Lord Burghersh ^ here ; he came this 
morning with the messenger, and we have all, high 
and low, done nothing but cross-examine him since 
he came, and he is very nice, giving one all the inter- 
esting details he can, in the pleasantest way, and 
without any fanfaronade ; he says he does not mind 
cannon-balls at all, nor shells much, but musket-balls 
whizzing about one's head every minute are very dis- 
agreeable ; and when he was in the wars in India with 
his regiment he thought much less about it, being 
among the men, encouraging and talking with them, 
but now he is on the staff he sees more of the horrors, 
and has more time to think about them. He sports very- 
considerable whiskers and facial furniture, but no mous- 
tache, and is in great good looks, so soldier-like and dis- 
tinguished ; very tanned and sunburnt, of course. 

1 Francis, Lord Burghersh, afterwards eleventh Earl of Westmor- 
land, aide-de-camp to Lord Raglan, 1825-1891. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE CRIMEAN WAR 

Model of Sevastopol — ^The Queen's letter to Miss Hillyard — Lord Raglan 
— " When Sevastopol tumbles down " — The Militia want to enlist 
— General Codrington's journal — The hospital — and Miss Night- 
ingale — Visit of Lord Cardigan — His account of Balaclava — 
Sufferings of our soldiers — Details of the war — Beating up the Peers 
— The children's play. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley. 

Grosvenor Square, /aw. i^th, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — I go to Windsor this afternoon 
by the four o'clock train ; and to-morrow the Queen 
goes to Osborne to stay till Monday, leaving us to 
keep house at Windsor; I think Lady Caroline and 
the Princesses are to stay there too, so we shall not 
be quite alone. 

My pink gown is come home, very pretty; and I 
have bought a bonnet, the best I could get, but I 
thought them all ugly; however it is rather dressy 
and will serve my turn, provided the old Ex-King 
of Bavaria lives thro' my waiting. It is groseille and 
black with lace and feathers. 

Papa and I went yesterday to Wyld's Globe to see 
the model of Sevastopol, which is on a large table in 
a separate room. It is very interesting, but exactly 
what I had expected from the maps. The hills are 
mostly covered with grass, like the Downs in Sussex ; 
indeed they are like the Downs in every way; the 

s8o 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 281 

same undulating ground and the same Cliffs near the 
sea, only not chalk. Balaclava harbour looks very tiny 
and exposed to South winds as it runs right from N. to 
S., but I suppose it is better than nothing, as at least it 
is a convenient point for loading and unloading vessels. 

Windsor Castle, /att. sih, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — Here I am again, settled for a 
month, and the Queen, Prince and two eldest Princesses 
are just gone off to Osborne. The Queen did not 
speak to me except to say " How do you do," and con- 
sequently did not ask me what I had been working for 
the Crimea, as you foretold ; but Lady Canning had a 
spare comforter en train which she offered to Miss 
Byng or me for our evening's amusement. . . . Every- 
body here is in a great state about a letter the Queen 
wrote to Miss Hillyard, with some messages in it to 
Mrs. S. Herbert, about the sick and wounded, which 
is printed in all the papers and nobody knows how it 
got out ; but it is such a nice natural letter that we 
ladies all think it will only make everybody like the 
Queen better than ever ; only it is rather too intimate 
and familiar to have been written to Mrs. S. Her- 
bert but quite perfect to have been sent to Miss 
Hillyard, who is the Princesses' English Governess, 
and was nine years with Mrs. S. Herbert when she 
was a child, in fact, brought her up. The whole 
household is frantic at the Times and the way it abuses 
everything, justly or unjustly, but it is thought that 
Lord Raglan has not shown much talent or forethought, 
and that Col. Steele and the Staff (his own personal 
staff) are rather too young and inefficient, that is, have 
hardly personal weight enough or don't like to take 
responsibility upon themselves by setting things going 



282 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

on a difFerent footing and making changes. There is 
also a very strong impression among all the gentlemen 
that the assault was to take place some day during the 
last week of Deer, beginning by a bombardment of 48 
hours. Is it not awful to think of.? 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 6th, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — We are going to dine at Frog- 
more this evening rather to our grief and disappoint- 
ment, as Mrs. Phipps has a child's party at half-past 
nine, with Albert Smith and a Conjuror, which we 
were going to and should much have preferred to the 
ceremonies of a Frogmore feast. However, it does not 
much signify. I took a long walk yesterday to the 
Gardens and afterwards thro' the lower part of the 
Home Park. It is immensely improved, a great many 
walls and hedges taken down and beautiful views 
opened out and in one part the grounds go straight 
down to the river, tho' there is a wire fence along its 
edge as the towing path must be kept up. 

. . . The Duke of Cambridge is still very poorly ; 
it is intermittent, or Quotidian fever, coming on at a 
particular hour every day, and he cannot get up his 
strength. He wants to come home, I hear, but the 
Queen and Prince and Duchess of Cambridge want 
him to stop at Malta ; the Duchess of Cambridge says 
if he comes home it will be another leave-taking when 
he goes back, and she thinks once going thro' that 
sort of thing is enough ; besides she says he ought to 
be there " when Sevastopol tumbles down." . . . 

There is a charming story going about of a blow- 
up between Lord Carrington ^ when he was here with 
the Bucks Militia and the recruiting Sergeant and 

1 Robert, second Baron Carrington, 1 796-1 868. 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 283 

party of the Guards. The whole Militia Corps, 700 
men, wanted to enlist, and Lord C. was furious, raved 
and stormed in the Barrack Square, and finally turned 
the Sergeant of the Guards out, with strict orders to 
the Regiment of Militia not to let either the Sergeant 
or any of the Guards in or thro', anywhere that they 
mounted guard. The Sergeant had to drill the Prince of 
Wales the next day, and walked up to the Castle for that 
purpose, but in vain, the Bucks Militia Sentries would 
not let him pass, declared they did not believe him, 
and he was on the point of turning back, when the 
Prince of Wales saw him and came running out to 
know what was the matter; the whole had to be 
explained, when Lord C. was rather called over the 
coals, and had, very ungraciously and grumblingly, 
to allow 100 or 150 of his men to be taken. I did 
not hear this at the Castle, so I have no doubt it 
is much exaggerated, but it is rather a good story. 
. . . Everybody is having the influenza. Lady Caroline 
and Mary, Princesses Helena and Louise, Col. Bid- 
dulph, Princess Royal, but she is pretty well again. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley ■ 

Windsor Castle, Jan. Sth, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I read a most interest- 
ing paper yesterday, Genl. Codrington's ^ journal from 
the 7th to the 13th of Deer.; he writes a few lines 
every day and sends it home to his family by each 
mail ; I think it was a copy for the Prince that was 
lent to me. It told nothing new, as there was nothing 

* General Sir William Codrington, Commander-in-Chief in the 
Crimea in 1855. 



284 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

important during those days, but it made one feel as if 
one was on the spot, sitting in the tent with him, Hs- 
tening in case of an alarm, which one of the nights there 
was some idea of, and prevented hearing anything dis- 
tinctly by " the confounded flapping of the canvas in 
the wind." He mentions the very bad state of the 
roads, and the total want of baggage mules or horses, 
so that they had to send soldiers 13 miles every day, 
for provisions, of which each man sent was bound to 
bring back 20 lbs. This of course caused a scarcity 
up at the camp ; but by his account there is " abun- 
dance of everything, warm clothing, rations, &c. &c., 
at Balaclava, if we could only get them up here." 
He also described having felt alarmed at the unpro- 
tected position of one of our redoubts, and having 
gone with two or three English and one French officer, 
one bright moonlight night, creeping from shelter to 
shelter, in some places close to the enemy's lines, 
trusting to the uncertain light which even the brightest 
moonlight gives ; and venturing to make a reconnais- 
sance on spots where in the daytime the riflemen 
would have picked them ofl^ without fail. He has 
got two regiments to protect his redoubt, in addition 
to what he had before, and 5000 Zouaves are in 
readiness to support it if it is attacked. . . . For 
Mama's edification I must add Genl. Codrington's bill 
of fare on one of the days : mutton broth, fried pork 
and potatoes, and when he was roused up in the night 
for one of these moonlight expeditions he comforted 
himself with a cup of chocolate before he went to bed 
again. V He does not describe the bed, but says the 
mutton broth and pork were very good after a day's 
hard work with much riding. . , , 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 285 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. loth, I'Sss. 

Dearest Mama, — ... Sir De Lacy Evans* 
is not well enough to come here, but the Abercorns, 
Lord Clarendon, Lord Torrington,^ and Genl. Wylde 
are expected. Lady Catherine Hamilton is coming,' as 
well as the two grown-up Hamiltons. ... I sent Ois 
a copy of rather an interesting letter from Col. Hig- 
ginson, giving an account — very clear indeed — of what 
he and the Grenadier Guards did on the Inkerman 
day — it is rather old news, but I thought it might 
interest her, and I told her she might send it on to 
you. Our gentlemen are beginning to be less sanguine 
about an assault taking place, and our carrying the 
town by storm ; for some reason or the other they 
think the French are not very keen about it — I wonder 
how it will end. ... By the by, did I tell you how 
ill the Duchess of Gloucester had been with a cold — 
but she is getting better I am happy to say. . . . 



TTie Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Ckstle, Jan. 12th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — I have not much news, at least 
nothing but what appears in the papers, and that is not 
very cheering, as, tho' nothing particular is happening, 

1 General Sir George de Lacy Evans commanded the second division 
in the Crimea. 

• George Byng, Viscount Torrington, a Lord in Waiting, 1812-1884. 

• Lady Katherine Hamilton, daughter of James, first Duke of 
Abercom, afterwards Countess of Mt. Edgcumbe. 



286 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of course all this time the roads must be dreadful and 
the difficulty of getting stores and provisions to the 
camp very great. 

I hear, however, that the last journal letter from 
General Codrington was much more cheering, but I 
have not seen it. I am knitting socks for the Crimea, 
by the Queen's desire, and Hoffarth is to turn my heels 
for me. Lady Harriet Hamilton is knitting socks too, 
but as Lady Louisa ^ informed me, she only knits socks 
for one person. The one person has been down here 
both these afternoons from London to visit her, and 
yesterday she appeared with a most lovely bouquet 
which he brought her; they say he looks very worn 
and thin, but is rapidly getting stronger and better ; it 
was a most awful illness ; 8 weeks in bed, 6 weeks out 
of the 8 with his head in a pewter dish full of ice. 

I hear Lord Dunkellin's ^ letter is thought rather too 
humble and grateful, but it ought to be known that 
when he was informed of his freedom he was told the 
Emperor freed him unconditionally, on account of his 
old friendship for Lord Clanricarde, which was not at 
all the case, as he was simply exchanged for an officer 
of the same rank. But this he never knew till he came 
home, and it would make a considerable difference in 
the amount of gratitude he would express in his letter. 
They say he heard from many different people that our 
shells don't explode properly, and that if they all had, 
Sevastopol would have been destroyed by this time. I 
wonder if there is any truth in this. . . . The deaths 
from sickness one grudges even more than those that 

^ Lady Louisa Hamilton, afterwards Duchess of Buccleuch, ^and 
Lady Harriet Hamilton, afterwards Countess of Lichfield. 

* Ulick, Lord Dunkellin, eldest son of first Marquis of Clanricarde, 
1827-1867, 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 287 

die in battle, and in numbers, I fancy, they are quite as 
many, perhaps more, for it is a constant daily loss. . . . 
I am glad to think that all accounts now say the hospitals 
are very well managed and supplied with everything 
useful; they are, however, very crowded, and one 
hardly sees how they can be less so for some time to 
come. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Maty Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. i^lk, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — There is a horrid Queen of 
Sardinia dead,^ so that we are expecting to have to go 
into mourning ; too distressing with all my pretty 
coloured gowns. I have got on your green and black 
to-day, and it fits like a glove and is lovely; indeed, 
with my new groseille bonnet and velvet and sable jacket, 
I flatter myself I am quite killingly got up. ... I 
believe we are to have the Walewskis, the Sydneys and 
Bessboroughs ^ here to-morrow to stay till Wednesday ; 
we have already got Prince Nicholas of Nassau and 
Prince Ernest of Leiningen. 

. . . Lady Canning was telling me a great deal 
about Miss Nightingale,' whom she knows very well ; 
she says she is tall and thin ; with dark hair and a good 
clear complexion, and pretty mouth and smile; not 
handsome, nor very attractive in manner, very quiet 
and businesslike, but wonderfully clever, full of in- 
formation on all subjects, a good classical scholar, 

* The Archduchess Marie Theresa of Austria, daughter of Ferdinand, 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, m. King Charles Albert of Sardinia, 

• John, fifth Earl of Bessborough, 1 809-1 880, and his second wife. 
Lady C. Gordon Lennox. 

' Florence, daughter of William Nightingale of Embley Park, 1820- 
1910. 



288 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

knowing Greek and Hebrew and those sort of things, 
and having besides, most useful of all, the knack of 
getting round people and bringing them to think as 
she does, in a remarkable degree. If it were not for 
this, she would never have done at Scutari as well as 
she has, for of course all the doctors were rather doubt- 
ful at first whether they liked the plan, as they were 
afraid of their authority being interfered with ; but she 
got round them in no time, and they are all quite 
inclined to let her do anything she likes. Lady Canning 
says it is strange enough that with her very quiet, rather 
stern manner, she has an immense deal of fun about 
her, and sees things in an amusing light ; I suppose it 
is this fund of spirits that carries her through and 
enables her to do so much. She is about 34 or 

35 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. i6th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Lord Cardigan^ is ex- 
pected ; we shall all have to make a great deal of him ; 
I hear he cannot stand well, and I long to see what 
he will do this evening, whether he will sit in state 
while the Queen goes round the room talking to the 
people. The Duke of Cambridge is, I believe, really 
coming home, tho' it is not quite certain he may not 
stay at Malta, and let Col. MacDonald come here on 
leave and join him again at Malta ; but his health is so 
broken by this nasty aguish fever that all the doctors 
want him to come home and recruit. Lady Stratford ^ 

^ James, seventh Earl of Cardigan, 1797-1868. 

* Elizabeth, daughter of James Alexander, m. Viscount Stratford 
de Redcliffe, at that time Ambassador at Constantinople. 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 289 

writes that he is very weak and ill, but it is a horrid 
falsehood to say his mind was ever affected ; and she 
and none of them could ever see the least signs of it, 
and he was a fortnight staying in their house. 

The Walewskis are here; she is certainly a sweet 
gracieuse little creature ; her toilette this morning was 
the prettiest thing altogether that I ever saw. . . . The 
Prince and some of the gentlemen went out shooting, 
and had a very good morning's sport. Lord Bess- 
borough was of the party, in borrowed plumes however, 
as he managed to lose his portmanteau in the railway 
between Chippenham and Windsor, and of course all 
his things were in it. I believe he had to be dressed 
in proper evening costume last night by contributions 
from his friends in the household. 

We have been amusing ourselves looking at the 
Queen's private album of photographs ; rather amus- 
ing, all the children in all sorts of groups and dresses, 
a good many of the household ; and the Queen and 
Prince themselves in every variety of attitude ; such as 
his sitting looking into a book and she with her arm 
round his neck standing by — or she turning away as if 
saying no to something, while he is leaning over her 
as they sit on the sofa as if trying to convince her and 
bring her round to what he wishes — and many less 
interesting. ... 

Windsor Castlb, Jan. 17th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — I think you will like to hear a 
little about our conquering hero. Lord Cardigan, who 
has at last the happiness he has been waiting for all his 
life, of being the centre of everything, listened to and 
made much of by everybody, and feted in every way. 
He really bears it very well, seems much pleased at 

T 



290 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

hearing of all the interest everyone felt at the time the 
Balaclava news came, very ready to talk about that and 
everything else that occurred up to the 8th of Dec, 
when he left the Crimea, but not at all boastful, rather 
telling one of all the sad deaths or narrow escapes he 
saw around him, and keeping himself comparatively in 
the background. He said that on that Balaclava day, 
when he and the wretched remnant of the Light Cavalry 
Brigade pulled up on the top of the hill, and felt that 
they were once more in safety, he for one could not 
help saying to himself he wondered how any single one 
could have come back, and as if it was difficult to 
believe he was unhurt, except one or two trifling 
wounds from the long Cossack lances. They charged 
down a gentle slope, at the bottom of which was the 
Russian battery, with, he in his official report said, I2 
guns, but in his private opinion it was about 20, tho* 
he does not pretend to have counted them ; this battery 
swept the slope down which they were cantering, and 
now and then a round shot would mow down a whole 
column of horsemen, but he was told the men closed 
in beautifully, and he says as far as he, being in front, 
could judge, they went at it as heartily as they do to 
an imaginary charge on parade. The heights on each 
side were occupied by Russian riflemen, whose fire made 
sad havoc among them. Large bodies of Russian 
cavalry were seen close at hand, but they seemed 
amazed and not quite aware of what we were at, and 
so ofi^ered little or no opposition. We got into the 
battery, and every gunner was cut down, and the 
battery silenced for that day, tho' shells came down 
occasionally among us from a more distant one. But 
we were unsupported, and had no choice but to make 
the best of our way back, in accomplishing which our 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 291 

loss was fearful, as the 5300 Russian cavalry and 
Cossacks closed In fast enough upon us then, trying to 
surround our little force and fairly annihilate it — and 
in this they too nearly succeeded, as we know, 350 
horses were killed on the spot, and only about 270 men 
answered to their names that evening ; that is, men 
with their horses, as far as I could understand. 

But sadder even than this I thought hearing that 
between Nov. i and Dec. 8, 150 horses had died of 
exposure and starvation — up to that time the troops 
did not suffer from scarcity, but the poor horses did 
dreadfully — and he says there was a moment after 
Inkerman, and the storm of Nov. 14 coming so soon 
upon it, with the loss of the Prince and all the other 
misfortunes it occasioned, when the whole army was 
terribly discouraged. Thank Heaven this passed off, 
and when he left they were as determined and sanguine 
as ever about carrying the place at last. He is a most 
devoted Raglanite, and says he, and he alone, keeps 
everything together there, and but for him we should 
have quarrelled with our allies and had to raise the 
siege. It quite did my heart good to hear him. . , . 

The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. igth, 1855, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . was reading us bits of 
a letter she had received a few days ago from Lord 
Arthur, begun at Balaclava and ended up at the Camp 
before Sevastopol, and he says the sufferings of the 
soldiers are very great, from cold and short allowance 
of food ; and that the officers only fare better from 
being able to buy luxuries at a very high price, which 



292 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of course the others can't afford. I am afraid this is 
too true, one hears it from so many quarters that one 
cannot doubt it ; but it seems that in general one ought 
to hear the complaints the Guards officers make of 
Lord Raglan with some allowance for their feeling 
hurt and angry at his not making more of them — they 
say that in the Duke's time, in former wars, the Guards 
were his especial favourites, and now nobody troubles 
their head or cares what becomes of them more than 
the rest of the army. They were also rather angry at 
the slight way in which they were mentioned in the 
Inkerman despatch, and are inclined to blame Genl. 
Estcourt for it; I do think, considering the way in 
which they fought and suffered, a little more might 
have been said about it, but the Commander-in-Chief 
cannot mention officers in his despatch, if their own 
Genls. of Brigade and Division don't mention them to 
him in their reports. 

Lord Cardigan says. Lord Raglan only exposes 
himself a great deal too much, and that he was for a 
length of time under very heavy fire at Inkerman; 
this does not tally with what we had heard, that he 
was far away and saw nothing of what went on ; it only 
shows that a man can't be in three or four places at 
once. Certain it is that he gives in very much to the 
wishes of the French Commanders ; on the principle 
that the Alliance was worth more than the position, he 
first allowed them to take the right after landing, so as 
to be next the sea ; and then before Sevastopol, he 
made no difficulty when they begged to cross over and 
take the left, for the same reason, to be nearest the sea. 
But he will not always do everything they want, for 
the Prince was showing us as a point on the Maps, a 
fort that the French wanted him to force, by direct 




AUGUSTA, LADY CREMORNE (AFTERWARDS COUNTESS 
OF DARTREY) 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 293 

attack, while they got round the enemy's flank to meet 
and support us ; just what we did at the Alma ; and 
he thought the part that was allotted to us much too 
hazardous, in fact that we should lose six times as many 
men as our Allies would, just as we have always done, 
and refused to attempt it. The strongest sign of dis- 
couragement, as it strikes me, that I have yet heard, 
was Lord Cardigan's saying that out there they had 
been trying, but without success, to remember any 
instances of an allied army (with two independent 
generals) succeeding in any great undertaking, and 
could find none. The Prince instanced Prince Eugene 
and the Duke of Marlborough — and the Duke of 
Wellington and Prince Blucher — so I hope the bad 
omen will not come true. We have got Lord Aber- 
deen, Lord Clarendon and Sir John and Lady Graham 
here now. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 2xst, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — Oh ! how cold it is ! the " Fall " 
has come at last, and we have about an inch and a 
half of snow. ... I hope the troops are hutted and 
winter clothed by this time, but the confusion at 
Balaclava seems hopeless; Gen. Codrington's last 
letter was rather disheartened about the wretched 
state of the troops and what they had to go through 
compared to the French ; he said the French mules and 
pack saddles looked nice and tidy and their drivers too, 
but that our poor remnants of cavalry, who have to do 
duty as Mules and Muleteers for us, were so dirty and 
shabby-looking that it broke one's heart to see them. 



294 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

We are quite alone to-day and are going to have 
a Household dinner, ' for the first time for nearly a 
fortnight. I am not very glad, I always like the light 
of my Sovereign's countenance whenever I can get 
it. . . . My work by the by at present is knitting 
stockings, with a little help from Hoffarth in turning 
the heels. ... I have just been looking over a book 
of drawings by Col. George Cadogan,^ which he has 
brought home from the Crimea ; they are very clever 
indeed ; some of them beautiful, others less good ; 
they are chiefly groups of figures. Zouaves, Guards 
and such like, but some are more ambitious, attempting 
to show the Battle of the Alma or the hand-to-hand 
fight at Inkerman, with the Zouaves just coming to 
the rescue ; one is a sketch of Lady Errol ^ in her tent 
at Varna and in another are portraits of three horses, I 
suppose his own. He has only a short time here as he has 
to be in the Crimea again by February 28th, and so has 
Col. C. Townsend Wilson, who is coming home to marry 
Georgina Hope Vere ^ and take her out with him. . . • 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 23rd, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We have about 2J inches 
of snow here, and it feels odiously cold and disagreeable. 
. . . There is a mourning hanging over us for the 
Q. Dowager of Sardinia, and now the poor young 

^ Colonel the Hon. Sir George Cadogan, second son of third Earl 
Cadogan, 1814-1880. 

2 Eliza Gore (V.A.), eldest daughter of General the Hon. Sir Charles 
Gore, m. nineteenth Earl of Erroll. 

' Georgina (V.A.), fifth daughter of William Hope Vere of Black- 
wood, m. Colonel C. Townshend Wilson. 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 295 

reigning Queen of Sardinia ^ is de^d ; I suppose we shall 
have to grieve for her too. . . . This will find you 
on the start for Newton Don, that is, supposing the 
" Fall " allows of your moving. Here, we wish we 
had a little more ; there is not snow enough for sledging 
and the frost is not hard enough for skating. Yester- 
day the sledges were all ordered and the Queen had 
to counter-order them, as the message came back from 
the Stables to say it would be impossible to use them. 
To-day she has not attempted it ; the Prince was in 
London this morning presiding at some meeting and 
is, we suppose, come home cold and tired. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 25th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — We are quite alone and are going 
to have another household dinner to-day, as the Prince 
is very poorly with a sort of brow ague and neuralgia, 
which has been plaguing him for some days. I had a 
walk with Princess Royal this afternoon, that is, I 
attended her down to the skating pond, which, as it was 
thawing fast, was in very bad order, and all inch thick 
of slush and wet, besides being very rotten in parts. 
The skating master, Talbot, was there and told us 
where the ice was safe, as he thought, which did not 
prevent me from going through it as I was walking 
up and down to keep myself warm ; luckily it was not 
much over my ankles, as the Thames is so low that 
they had some difficulty in filling the pond at all (you 
know it is an artificial aflfair, merely flooding a corner of 

1 The Archduchess Adelaide (1822-1855), daughter of Reimer, 
Archduke of Austria, m. King Victor Emmanuel II. 



296 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

a meadow). . . . We pattered about a little more on 
the ice, and then walked home, meeting the Queen, 
to whom we related our mishaps, and who only laughed 
and seemed much amused. . . . 

I hear there are despatches arrived from Lord 
Raglan, who is (naturally enough) very sore about all 
the Times says, and states, in self-defence, that the facts 
don't bear out what we hear of the immense superiority 
of the French arrangements, except in the particular of 
transport, which is better than ours, and the distance 
from their landing-place to their camp being shorter, 
they also have a little advantage that way. But that 
the food is no better, indeed hardly as good as ours, 
which the quantity of scurvy cases in their army corro- 
borates, and that none of their soldiers are under any- 
thing but tents, and they are in great envy of our huts, 
which are beginning to be put up. Hardly any have 
arrived from France, and few are even promised ; and 
those that are come have been sent without poles to 
keep them up (the supports to which the boards are to 
be fastened), but he says they keep it all as quiet as they 
can, not like our papers, who would make the most of 
anything of the kind. Oh ! no, we all know the 
French proverb, "II faut laver son linge sale en 
famille " ; and / think it a very good principle ; but 
we English act on the very opposite ; we do and bear 
anything, but grumble all the time. I have no doubt 
the French are better campaigners, from the very fact 
of their grumbling less, and we can all remember things 
we have heard of the privations the old Emigres went 
through, and in our days many French refugees have done 
the same, not often able to afford themselves a dinner 
at the cheapest ordinary, but contented to frying their bit 
of pork or broiling their chop on their small fire, only 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 297 

intent on trying to keep up a respectable appearance — 
and we have often admired them for this cheerfulness 
under adversity. ... It is the same thing now. 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 26th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We have got the young 
Maharajah here ; he is only sixteen, but his grave, 
dignified manner, and jet black, thick beard and 
moustache make him look older; he is pleasing and 
gentle-looking, and talks English very well, in a sweet, 
low voice. He is to go back to his own country in a 
year or two when his education is supposed to be 
completed, and meantime remains under the charge 
of Sir John Logan, who has had the care of him 
for the last six years. He is a Christian, of course, 
and we have all settled that he must marry the 
little Coorg Princess, who is also being educated in 
England. 

We are in a state about politics; Ministers fully 
expect to be beat on Monday, and as it would amount 
to a vote of censure, they seem to think they must 
resign ; but as Lord Derby is understood to say he 
won't attempt to make a Government just now, it is 
supposed they will have to sit on as well as they can 
with no outward important change but the loss of 
Lord John, who, everybody thinks, has behaved very 
shabbily ; either he ought to have gone out when he 
made that fuss seven weeks ago, or he ought now 
to bear the brunt of the battle (as he says he has so 
often done) with his colleagues, and not to shirk like a 
boy at school. It is charming his putting his resigna- 
tion on his dear Lord Pam not being made Minister 
for the War — as if we had all forgotten those little 
incidents not three years ago, when Johnny rather un- 



298 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

courteously turned him out of the Whig Cabinet, and 
Pam revenged himself by upsetting Johnny's Cabinet 
a month later, and Lord Derby came in instead. But 
the true reason comes out in more than one place in 
his speech, and is clearly that he (Johnny) thought 
himself neglected and not made enough of. The 
Argylls are of course very guarded in what they say, 
but it is evident they think Johnny has not behaved 
well — and also that Ministers must resign if the vote 
goes against them, which they say it is sure to do. 
But the difficulty will be to find anybody to put 
in their place, so it is thought it will be patched up 
somehow. 

It is all very distressing ; but to turn to another 
equally distressing though more interesting subject, I hear 
things are already beginning to improve since Sir Edward 
Lyons has been supreme at sea ; that he is beginning to 
unravel the confusion at Balaclava, and that he has 
been riding about the camp, batteries, &c., in every 
direction, and telling Lord Raglan some home truths, 
which are said to have been beautifully taken, and 
Sir E.'s advice acted upon. So I trust better days are 
in store for our poor army. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Jan. 2gth, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — I suppose this is the last letter I 
shall write to you ; Thursday feels very near now, and 
I shall be glad to be at home again with Papa and you. 
Before that, a great deal will have happened in the 
political world ; Lord Aberdeen said this morning they 
meant to have done with it to-night, and to divide, if 



THE CRIMEAN WAR 299 

they had to sit up all night for it, but not to allow of 
an adjournment of the debate ; he was very cheery and 
in good spirits for him, and said he thought the division 
would be a very near thing, and one might bet either 
way ; this is a different account from Genl. Grey's on 
Friday, for he said, from common report merely, that 
the majority against the Government was expected to 
be very great. They are beating up for Peers to-night, 
too, on account of Lord Grey's motion in the Lords, 
and we are to have no Lord-in- Waiting, Lord Rivers 
being desired to attend in the House to-night. I fancy 
they all think it will end in their going on nearly as 
they are, with Lord Palmerston in the Duke of New- 
castle's ^ place, as he does not like to stay there after all 
that has passed. Nobody thinks Lord Lansdowne^ 
would be Prime Minister, or would succeed if he took 
the office at his age and with his bad fits of gout — and 
except him there is nobody to put in Lord Aberdeen's 
place just now, except Lord Palmerston, and it is 
supposed that there is nothing the Queen would not 
do to avoid having him as Premier. He may be 
forced upon her some day, but she is not come to 
that yet. . . . 

To-morrow the Royal children are to act their little 
play . . . and we hope to be admitted to see it. I 
don't think Lady Caroline likes it so much as the one 
of last year, but she says Princess Louise will look very 
pretty in one scene where she comes on as a fairy. It 
is the old story of Little Red Riding Hood, in German, 
improved, or, some people say, spoilt by Miss lUhardt, 



* Henry Pelham, fifth Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for 
War, 1811-1864. 

• Henry, third Marquis of Lansdowne, 1 780-1 863 ; he held a seat 
in the Cabinet without office. 



300 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the German governess. But it is always pretty to see 
a group of children acting, and the dresses and decora- 
tions are sure to be handsome, as they are got up 
totally regardless of expense. 

I sat by the young Maharajah on Saturday ; he 
speaks as good English as I do, and I found him very 
conversible, indeed I had nothing to do but to listen, 
as he talked pretty nearly all dinner-time. It is a very 
handsome face, but gentle-looking and hardly manly 
enough ; his voice and eyes are very soft and give one 
the impression of his being rather mild and effeminate ; 
but the eyes are quite beautiful, so large and coal black, 
and such eyebrows and eyelashes about them. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE PEACE 

Palmerston in power again — Inquiry into the war — King Victor 
Emmanuel — Which leg ? — Princess Royal dining late — Osborne — • 
A gale at sea — Lady Ely in trouble — Warming your hut with a 
live cannon ball — The measles — The King of the Belgians leaves 
— News of peace being signed — Engagement of Princess Royal 
given out — Dinner d la Russe — Osborne air — The Princesses' 
chateau — A cruise in the Fairy — Visit to the Victory — Visit to 
Aldershot — The Pavilion — Much too comfortable — Letter from 
the Duchess of WelUngton — The Princess Royal's courtship — 
The Prince Consort asleep — Death of Prince of Leiningen — The 
ex-Queen of France. 

The disastrous war in the Crimea and the sufferings 
endured by the troops continued to engross public 
attention. The news of the victories of the Alma, of 
Balaclava, and of Inkermann, was received with joy, 
but the country was not satisfied and, on January 29th, 
1855, the Government went out on a critical inquiry 
into the management of the war. The Queen was 
now face to face with an unpleasant problem, which 
she solved in the only possible way by inviting 
Palmerston to form a Cabinet. Palmerston, the 
stormy petrel, the man she had dreaded and disliked, 
was now in power ; he was indeed rinivitabk^ as he 
said himself when reviewing the situation. With cer- 
tain changes in the Cabinet, however, the machinery 
of Government was set in motion again with little 

friction, and the New Year dawned more hopefully 

301 



302 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

than had the last. Although greatly preoccupied with 
affairs at home and abroad, as well as with constant 
visits to the hospitals to see her wounded soldiers, 
the Queen entertained as usual at Windsor. In April 
the Emperor and Empress of the French paid a State 
visit and in August the Queen and Prince went to 
Paris. On September lo, news of the fall of Sevas- 
topol, after a siege that had lasted nearly a year, 
reached her at Balmoral ; and at Balmoral also the 
eldest son of the Prince of Prussia ^ proposed for the 
hand of the Princess Royal, who was then not sixteen 
years old. In November King Victor Emmanuel of 
Sardinia ^ paid a State visit. 

Eleanor Stanley arrived soon after his departure, 
to find the visit still a subject of conversation. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. jth, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — , . . Nothing is talked of but 
the departed guests, the King of Sardinia and his 
suite ; they seem to have been an ugly set, but some 
of them gentlemanlike and agreeable. The King 
does not seem attractive from the description the 
people here give of him, but we shall perhaps have 
an opportunity of judging, as he was so charmed 
with his reception and so pleased with England that 
he says he means to buy a house near London and 
come and live here en partkulier ; adding that "beau- 

^ Prince Frederick William, afterwards the Emperor Frederick of 
Germany, 1 831-1888. 

* Victor Emmanuel II, afterwards King of Italy, 1 820-1 878. 



THE PEACE 303 

coup de rois " have already done so. Yes, but 
under what circumstances ? Does he wish or expect 
such a fate to be his ? When he arrived I hear he 
did not understand he was to kiss his sister sovereign, 
so the poor Queen stood putting her cheek up to him 
for ever so long before he condescended to touch it ; 
however, he is said to have quite made up for his 
backwardness when she gave him the royal salute after 
investing him with the Garter, for after kissing her 
face he began upon her hand, and bestowed upon it 
three kisses that resounded through the room. The 
" suite " were also amused, when he had to put out 
his leg for the Garter to be buckled on, he stuck out 
first one and then the other, and at last said to the 
Queen in his loud, short voice, " Laquelle ? " She 
nearly let fall the Garter for laughing, the Prince was 
in fits, and all the K.G.'s at the table began to titter. 
At last it was managed, and then came the putting the 
blue ribbon round his neck, when he would insist on 
wearing it on his right shoulder and putting his left 
arm through, which is the way most orders, particularly 
foreign ones, are worn, whereas the Garter goes over 
the left shoulder and hangs down at the right side — 
and at last I believe he went away with it wrong. 
Then in the evening there was a large full-dress 
dinner in St. George's Hall, and he was somewhat 
puzzled how to manage to wear his new Garter with 
his uniform. He was told he could not possibly put 
it on over his grey pants^ so he had some white tights 
built in a hurry, and the result, I am told, had exactly 
the effect of the dress of a gentleman going out hunt- 
ing, who had forgotten to put on his top-boots. The 
Queen was up at five to see him off, and the Duchess 
of Sutherland to attend her. , . . 



304 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The King is to stop one day at Compiegne to 
hunt, and one day at Rambouillet, ditto ; and not to 
go to Belgium at all, I believe. He has given ;^iooo 
among the servants, which is thought immense, and 
the three gentlemen in attendance upon him (Lord 
Byron, Col. Hood, and General Grey), and Col. 
Biddulph have got handsome snufF-boxes with large 
diamonds ; we were looking at Col. Biddulph's last 
night, and showing him how well it would hold a 
thimble, needle-case, and scissors, and small bit of 
crochet work, but he said he was waiting till he had 
enough to make diamond necklaces for the Maids of 
Honour, which is rather a distant prospect, we think. 

We have just been all over the state-rooms, which 
are still all done up as they were for the King of 
Sardinia and the Emperor and Empress last spring ; 
and they are really beautiful ; the furniture is all new, 
or new covered, and handsome ; and the rooms them- 
selves, with the beautiful pictures, and old china jars 
and buhl or carved wood cabinets, are charming, they 
look just what they are, old and venerable, with the 
gilding and small pieces of furniture renewed and 
freshened for use, and the whole in perfect keeping, 
while the splendid pictures on the walls, and beautiful 
view over Windsor, Eton, and the Thames, looked 
their best in the bright sunshine. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. 8th, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — Vesey ^ walked up here yesterday 
morning and 1 took him all over the Castle, private 

^ Hon. Vesey Dawson, eldest son of Lord Cremorne, succeeded as 
second Earl of Dartrey in 1 897. 



THE PEACE 305 

and public rooms and the state rooms that the King 
of Sardinia has just occupied, all fitted up as they were 
for him, or rather for the Emperor and Empress last 
spring. They look very pretty, are done in very 
good taste, and the beautiful pictures even look more 
beautiful for the rooms being comfortable, instead of 
the dreary barren state they used to be in. The 
Sardinian King and suite were all very much pleased 
with the Queen and their reception in England, both 
from the Court and the nation ; it seems they were 
hardly satisfied with the Paris visit ; they thought 
their welcome was by no means warm, and they said 
the contrast between the two Courts struck them very 
much ; the rather second-rate tone of the French 
Court making ours contrast very favourably for us ; 
as they said, " Ici, Ton voit bien que ce sont des aristo- 
crates," especially the ladies. Nevertheless, they are 
to stop a day at Compiegne, and a day at Fontainebleau 
or Rambouillet on their way home to hunt or shoot, 
which is the King's great passion. He was rather 
disappointed at his time here having been so filled up 
and arranged that he did not get a shot at the 
Windsor rabbits and pheasants, which he would much 
have preferred to being carried about London sight- 
seeing. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. gth, 1855. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Princess Royal dined with 
us last night ; she looks quite like a grown-up young 
Lady, and her manners are very pretty, and like the 
Queen's. She is very much grown, being now half an 
inch at least taller than the Queen. . . . Miss Byng says 

u 



3o6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

she does not think she has any idea about the Prince of 
Prussia, for every care was taken to keep the newspapers 
out of the way of all the children while those articles 
were appearing in them ; and her manner was perfectly 
childlike and unconcerned when he was at Balmoral. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Grandmother, the 
Countess of Lauderdale 

Windsor Castle, Dec. loth, 1855, 

My dearest Granny, — ... I believe I shall have 
a very merry journey up to London, as Mr. and Lady 
Emily Cavendish,^ M. de Lavradio, M. de Fontes, and 
Lord DufFerin ^ are all going up by the same train, and 
we shall of course join parties and go in one carriage, 
which, as Lady Emily is there, will be perfectly proper. 
... I have no news ; our evenings, standing against 
the wall for an hour and then sitting at our little 
round table for another hour, don't furnish much 
entertainment. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Dec. igth, 1855, 

Dearest Mama, — What a gale ! it is perfectly 
fearful, and this morning the Elfin could not get across 
to fetch the newspapers, which is one of her daily 
duties ; these little fast steamers are made so flat- 
bottomed, on account of all the harbours being tide 

^ William Cavendish, son of General the Hon. Henry Cavendish, 
Groom in Waiting, m. Lady Emily Lambton, daughter of the first Earl 
of Durham. 

* Frederick Temple, first Marquis of Dufferin and Aya, afterwar45 
Viceroy of India, 1 826-1 902, 



THE PEACE 307 

harbours, that they are none of them very safe 
in a heavy sea. Yesterday the unfortunate Ladies in 
Waiting changed ; it was a dreadful day, so black and 
stormy-looking, though the wind was hardly so high as 
it is to-day with a cloudless blue sky, but it was rising 
every minute, and the Queen got nervous about Lady 
MacDonald, and desired that one of the gentlemen 
might go across with her and see her safe into the 
train. . . . Colonel Grey volunteered for the service, 
and brought back Lady Ely, who is looking thin 
and delicate, and has been very ill with influenza ; 
however, she was at Lady Pam's on Saturday and saw 
the Beaumont proposal take place. I believe Lady 
Tweeddale and the girls are at Strathfieldsaye, but come 
to London on Thursday to order " Trousseiau " and take 
walks with dearest " Bobby," as Lady Emily calls him. 
He was at Lady Pam's too, receiving congratulations. 
The marriage is fixed for the third, and there is to be 
a great breakfast after it to eighty people in the 
Apsley House gallery.^ 

. . . Lady Ely is in a dreadful state about all the 
things that are coming in to the Queen from the Paris 
Exhibition ; they are all sent to her (Lady E.), and 
many of them said to have been ordered by her, and 
the Queen does not plead guilty to having ordered 
half of them, and is horrified at the price of many, and 
Col. Phipps still more so ; and they all agree in telling 
Lady Ely she was too soft, and did not scold the sellers 
into a reasonable price. She was at Paris three weeks 
ago, and says the Empress is in uncommon beauty. 
The King of Sardinia is supposed not to have been 
pleased with several things in his reception at Paris ; 

1 Lady Emily Hay, eighth daughter of eighth Marquis of Tweeddale, 
nt- Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Peel, third Baronet, January 1856. 



3o8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

one was the Emperor waiting quietly at home to re- 
ceive him instead of going to meet him at the Station. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor Castle, Dec. 21st, 1855. 

Dearest Papa, — Though I am very poorly with a 
bad relaxed sore throat and cough, I must write you 
a few lines to tell you we got here this morning safe 
from Osborne. . . . Prince Ernest of Leiningen 1 is 
here ; he is just come from the Baltic in the Cossack, 
and says they had some dreadfully cold weather before 
they left it. This led to talking of the expedients the 
troops have been trying in the Crimea to warm the 
huts ; the favourite one is putting a cannon ball on a 
little bit of fire, and when it heats red hot it warms 
the hut very effectively. But fancy what an escape 
young Capt. Malet had ; he carefully heated a live 
shell, which blew up, and knocked his whole hut to 
pieces, and would probably have killed him if luckily 
the plug had not blown out. I hardly know what I 
am writing, so I will finish. I have sent for little Mr. 
Brown to look at me. . . . P.S. — I have got the 
Measles, they are out all over my face and chest, but 
very mildly. 

Windsor Castle, March 28th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — The King^ is not gone, as the 
telegraphic messages every two hours from Dover 
yesterday gave a very bad account of the wind and 
waves ; if fine he goes to-morrow morning at half-past 

* Prince Ernest of Leiningen, son of Prince Charles of Leiningen, 
bom 1830. 

* The King of the Belgians, 



THE PEACE 309 

eight ; if still windy he will remain an indefinite time 
here. He is looking well, but not young. The 
Duchess of Kent is in great force, and looked killing 
in pale lilac flounced silk. . . . The Queen asked a great 
deal after Anna, Aunty, and poor Blanche, and was 
very sweet (as Miss Burney said in old days), and she 
inquired very particularly after the Cremornes and all 
details of the fire. . . . She is rather in beauty, her face 
not at all red, and her petticoats much increased in 
circumference, which improves her excessively. 

We are just come in from a long ride, very 
pleasant, and the air though still sharp not too cold for 
pleasure ; the wind too, I am happy to say for the 
poor King's sake, is certainly moderate, and we have 
the usual flag up instead of yesterday's little storm-flag. 
The only thing I regretted during the ride was that 
we were pounding along a dusty road instead of 
cantering over the green rides of the Park, which are 
in beautiful order just now, dry, but not too hard. I 
hear the Queen has recovered what little courage she 
used to have on horseback and means to ride a great 
deal in the mornings in London. . . . The two elder 
princesses rode with us, which is rather an addition (I 
mean a pleasant addition) to our party ; they ride nicely, 
and are apparently not at all nervous. The Queen 
had on a wide-awake, with a whole black-cock's tail. 



The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, March 30/A, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The poor King of the 
Belgians left us yesterday morning, in defiance of tele- 
graphic messages giving him a fearful description of 



310 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the gale ; but wicked people say that the truth was, 
he did not like to remain here from day to day as he 
had done since Tuesday, and that the Prince had more 
than once on Friday, turning his back carefully to the 
bitter East wind, and his face to the bright West sun, 
told him he would have a lovely day on Saturday, and 
that it was truly fine weather for travelling, which the 
poor King took as a hint. . . . The report is that 
peace is to be signed to-day, with an eagle's quill 
richly mounted in gold and precious stones, which the 
Empress is to keep as a memento. I don't think it 
quite fair she should have it, and not our Queen. 
Col. Biddulph says he thinks the new ball-room will 
certainly be opened this year, though the decorations 
will not be completed ; some things, that is, that are 
ordered from Italy, will not be arrived. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, March 51st, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — About half-past six the Queen 
got a telegraphic message announcing that peace had 
been signed about two o'clock, and immediately an- 
nounced to the Parisians by a salute of loi guns. 
She sent the message up to us, desiring that all the 
household might read it, and that it should be returned 
to her ; and this morning at eight the guns at the 
Belvedere pealed forth a royal salute of twenty-one 
guns for the peace. It seems we can only fire that, 
as loi is an imperial salute, which I don't think at 
all fair. She (the Queen) has good sharp eyes of her 
own ; on Friday, when we were riding, we saw a detach- 
ment of Guards exercising, and a few minutes after- 



THE PEACE 311 

wards came to the place where they had left their 
muskets and knapsacks, all unprotected. She im- 
mediately desired General Buckley to write and inquire 
of Col. Thornton why no sentry was left with them, 
and he returned a humble answer to say it was very 
careless, and he should take good care it did not 
happen again. 

The Princess Royal was confirmed in March 1856 
and her engagement was given out in May. In June 
a ball in her honour was given at Windsor. In July 
the Prince and Princess of Prussia were at Osborne. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, July xgth, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — I write a few lines by the 
messenger, in hopes they may reach you either late 
to-night or early on Monday, before you have started 
on your northward journey, to tell you that we made 
a most prosperous journey yesterday, arriving here 
about half-past two, and immediately sitting down to 
devour. The sea was rough and the wind high, and 
the waves washed over the deck so much the last 
half-hour that most of us went downstairs to keep 
ourselves dry. However, nobody was sick, and we 
arrived very soon ; after lunch I carried the Prussian 
ladies off to the seashore, where they looked for 
shells, but there are unfortunately no pretty ones on 
this shore. The Queen arrived about half-past six 
from Aldershot with the rest of the Royal party, and 
I had to go out immediately with the Princesses to 
their garden, to eat gooseberries and strawberries — at 



312 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

least the few the squirrels had left, and see how 
everything was getting on. Princess Royal's arm is 
still very painful, and nearly useless ; she can write 
and draw a little, but she cannot do anything that 
requires her to move it. She looks very well, how- 
ever, and I think she is grown. Princess Louise of 
Prussia ^ is really very pretty, with a good figure and 
beautiful complexion ; they all, of course, rave about 
our little Princess, and make much of her. 

We had a "^ diner k la Russe," and the table was 
decorated with the pretty Minton dessert service of 
1 85 1, and looked very nice. In the evening we all 
went out to look at the full moon, but did not stay 
long as it was rather cold. To-day is bright and 
beautiful, but very windy. 

Osborne, July 22nd, 1856, 

Dearest Mama, — Yesterday afternoon we drove 
to Carisbrook, a very pretty drive, and I enjoyed it 
excessively. I was out sketching all the morning, so 
that by bedtime I was excessively sleepy ; luckily all 
the other ladies were the same (I sometimes think it 
is the Osborne air that does it), so that it did not 
signify. This morning we have been walking for two 
hours, to the Swiss Cottage, a treasure-house of the 
Royal children, where they keep all their curiosities. 
We met the two little Princesses there, and they 
showed us all over it ; it is really very pretty, like a 
chMet, only rather better finished and furnished. 
Thence to the farm, where we fell in with another 
Royal party, the two Princes and the Princess of 
Prussia ; we admired the threshing machine, the 
black pigs and Galloway oxen and walked home by 

* Princess Louise of Prussia, only daughter of Prince of Prussia. 



THE PEACE 313 

Barton, quite tired and very hot. As soon as we have 
got cool, it will be time for lunch, as we start at half- 
past one for Ventnor, fourteen miles drive, and we 
expect to be back again to go out for a cruise in the 
Fairy with the Queen at five. I think we shall be 
sleepy again to-night, don't you ? and I am sorry to 
tell you I am rapidly becoming mahogany colour, in 
spite of my brown hat. {Note. — We did not get 
home till 9 p.m., and found the Queen quite in a 
fuss waiting dinner, as the Prince Consort, Princess of 
Prussia, and Princess Alice were with us. We had 
a charming day, but with a sea fog which hid the 
views.) 

Osborne, July 2^th, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — We are just come back from 
Portsmouth, having seen the dockyards to great 
advantage and admired the block machinery and all 
the other sights of the place, been over the Victory 
from end to end, during which process I fractured my 
skull three times against the beams of the lower deck, 
but luckily not seriously ; and having an excellent 
lunch at Sir G. and Lady Seymour's,^ Sir G. and 
Capt. Drummond (late of the Retribution) saw us 
over the greater part of the sights and went up in 
the Hoist with us. It was Col. Seymour's party, to 
show it to the Prussians, and I gladly joined them, 
and of course under these circumstances we saw 
everything to the greatest possible advantage, and it 
was as new to me as to them. Yesterday we had a 
delightful sail in the afternoon, in the Victoria and 
Albert as far as Freshwater Bay, passing Alum Bay 

* Admiral Sir George Seymour, m. Georgiana, daughter of the Hon. 
Sir G. C. Berkeley. 



314 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and the Needles ; it all looked lovely, and the weather 
was quite perfect. . . . Really, really, I begin to 
think yachting may be very enjoyable. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley. 

Osborne, July 26th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — We had a delightful cruise in the 
Victoria and Albert yesterday afternoon. ... It was 
really charming, and I am quite in love with yachting 
— but then it must be in a yacht like the Victoria and 
Albert. The Prince, and the Prince of Prussia go on 
Monday to Goodwood, and the Princess of Prussia 
and the rest of the party leave us on Tuesday and 
join the Prince of Prussia in London, crossing to 
Ostend the next day. The Queen and Prince go to 
Aldershot next Wednesday. ... I have had a most 
sight-seeing waiting, and I think we have been out 
eight or nine hours every day — I have enjoyed it 
much, but you would be shocked to see how I am 
sunburnt. . . . 

Osborne, July 28th, 1856. 

I have just got notice that I am to go to Aldershot 
with the Queen on Wednesday, but I fear, not to 
ride ; for Lady Churchill ^ is in waiting, and is a beauti- 
ful rider ; but I am glad I shall see it all, as there is 
such a fuss made about it just now. . . . 

Aldershot, which had just come into being at the 
suggestion of the Prince Consort, was still in its 

^ Lady Jane Conyngham (V.A.), a Lady of the Bedchamber, 
daughter of Francis, Marquis Conyngham, m. Francis, second Baron 
Churchill. 



THE PEACE 315 

infancy. The following letters give an interesting 
account of the Queen's first visit to the Pavilion. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Royal Pavilion, Camp, Aldershot, July ^oth, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — Such a lovely day ! but so hot ! 
the crossing in the Fairy was charming. ... I am so 
glad I am come ; it is so different from anything I 
had seen, or had any idea of; nothing but huts and 
huts and cavalry barracks on all sides, and soldiers 
marching from every direction towards the ground 
chosen for the Review this afternoon, to the sound of 
military music ; or orderlies galloping about with 
messages from the Royal Pavilion. I have got on my 
Earlston gingham, as I thought it particularly suitable 
for the Camp — but I feel rather hot in it, so I shall 
review the troops in a lace shawl instead of anything 
warmer in the cloak shape. I am to go in the carriage 
with the two Princesses, and I suppose. Prince Arthur ; 
a little darling, he is so pleased at having been allowed 
to come here this time, as he had never been here 
before. The rooms are uncommonly pretty and nice ; 
everything one can possibly want, but quite plain ; not 
unlike the arrangements and furniture of Glen Quoich ; 
mine has a little iron bed ; a tin hip bath, three cans, 
a foot-tub, and washhand-stand furniture, washhand- 
stand itself, chest of drawers, dressing-table, hanging 
wardrobe, and candlesticks, all white painted with blue 
lines — a red Kidderminster carpet ; a fire-place, arm- 
chair and two chairs ; inkstand and matchbox ; and 
two windows, with curtains, but no blinds or shutters ; 
but a sentry pacing up and down the gravel walk day 



3i6 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and night. The dining-room is lovely, very large, 
and painted to look like a tent, with broad blue 
and white stripes. In short, we are much too 
comfortable, and can't possibly fancy ourselves rough- 
ing it in the Crimea, which is what we are trying 
to realise. . , . 



The Duchess of Wellington to the 
Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

Balmoral, Oct. 2nd, 1856. 

My dear Eleanor, — The Queen has read your 
letter. She desires me to say to you that H.M. 
wishes you and Miss Gordon^ to come into waiting 
on the 6th of November. Miss Byng and Miss 
Cathcart ^ will follow you in December. 

We have already written to the new Maid of 
Honour ; it being her first waiting, she will probably 
require some little time to get her trousseau ready. 
The Queen has also begged me to say to you that she 
is sure that you will make your colleague as comfort- 
able as you can, that you will put her in the way or 
everything connected with her duties ; and H.M. 
also wishes, dear Eleanor, that you should take her with 
you when you walk out — that is to say, when there are 
no orders for either. 

My father and mamma were exceedingly distressed 
to hear of Lady Lauderdale's death ; I am sure you 
must have felt it very much, for I know how much 
you were attached to her. The Queen is glad to hear 

^ Hon. Louisa Gordon, second daughter of Major Hon, Henry 
Gordon, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 

* Hon. Emily Cathcart (V.A.), daughter of Lt.-General the Hon. 
George Cathcart, K.C.B., Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 



THE PEACE -317 

a better account of Anna Fitzroy ; ^ if you write, pray 
give her my best love. 

Weather permitting, an expedition to Altnagusach 
will take place to-day — Mary Seymour ^ goes with our 
royal mistress, and I hear that they are likely to remain 
there till Saturday. However, it is raining again very 
heavily. I hardly think the Queen will go. 

We have had two beautiful sunshiny days since I 
have been here, and on one of these days the Prince 
shot a very fine stag of twenty stone. We go south 
on the 15th ; I shall be exceedingly sorry to leave. 
The Queen is in great spirits, as you know she is never 
happier than when in the Highlands, and my com- 
panion. Miss Seymour, I like of all things. She is so 
lively and agreeable ; she will be a great loss. 

I don't think it has been at all settled what the 
present for her and Col. Biddulph is to be — None 
have paid as yet. Ever, dearest Eleanor, yours most 
affectionately, Elizabeth Wellingtom 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Nov. 7th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Prince Alfred is gone to 
Switzerland for five months, and is to spend the 
greater part of his time at Geneva. ... I shall have 
a gay waiting ; Prince Frederick (Princess Royal's 
man) is expected to-morrow, and there are to be 
three plays this month — the first to be the School 

* Lady Charles Fitzroy. 

• Hon. Mary Seymour, daughter of Frederick Seymour, son of 
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour Conway, m. Col. Biddulph, i6th February 
1857. 



3i8 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

for Scandal. . . . Some of the improper bits have 
been cut out, but not all, for the Prince, when one 
or two doubtful passages were submitted to him, 
said, " Oh ! no ! let that stand, we are not quite 
so squeamish as all that ! " 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Nov. gth, 1856, 

Dearest Mama, — No bad news of the Prince of 
Leiningen yet, so we begin to hope he will either 
rally or at least get so far better that all may go on 
here as usual. . . . The Palmerstons are here, they 
did not get the put-off, as they did not go to their 
own house in London, but came from station to 
station, and they were very distressed when on their 
arrival, the royal servants received them with " But 
you have been put off, and your rooms are not 
prepared." However, the Queen begged they would 
stay. . . . There is to be the " Feu-de-Joie " to- 
morrow morning, and the parade ; they could not 
take place to-day as it was Sunday — but all the House- 
hold, Harringtons, Greys, Phippses and Wellesleys, 
dine here this evening — I shall be in my grey silk, 
with silver pins, &c., in my hair, and my diamond 
heart and cross. . . . Little Princess Royal looks 
very happy, but they are not allowed much love- 
making, a little out walking with the royal parents, 
and one hour a day tete-a-tete., in the room adjoining 
the Queen's sitting-room, with the door open. I 
hear the Queen says she does not mean to allow 
Princess Alice to be married so young, or at least 



THE PEACE 319 

engaged so young, and it is generally supposed that 
the young Orange is told off to her. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley. 

Windsor, Nov. 12th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — The accounts of the Prince of 
Leiningen are as bad as possible ; I don't think the 
Queen can have the play to-morrow night. . . . 
The poor Duchess of Kent is the person that cares 
most, he is her only son, and she is really in great 
distress about him — and dear little Princess Royal is 
afraid it may cut short and spoil her young Prince's 
visit, and says innocently, " 1 wish it had not happened 
at such an unlucky moment 1 " Poor child, she is 
not allowed by any means much love-making ; in 
public he keeps looking at her, and she keeps blushing 
and looking the other way ; and in private they have 
an hour a day tete-h-tete, in a room next the Queen's 
boudoir, with the door wide open, so that she can 
both see and hear what goes on ; and though some- 
times they have nice walks, other times they are not 
so prosperous ; yesterday for instance, the two Royal 
couples, old and young, started, but alas ! the Queen 
and Princess Royal walked first, and as she expressed 
it, " Papa and the Prince followed us, talking politics, 
and when we got to the Farm, they stayed there, and 
Mama and I came home in the carriage, so we saw 
almost nothing of them." We all thought it a 
most unfeeling proceeding altogether on the part of 
the Royal parents, and quite took Princess Royal's 
side of the question. . . . P.S. — Is not // is Never 
Too Late to Mend at Dartrey } I have been reading 



320 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

it and found it most interesting. I wonder if all his 
facts about the prisons are true ? It is worse than 
American slavery. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. i^th, 1856, 

Dearest Mama, — Prince of Leiningen died yester- 
day morning at eleven, at his Chateau near Amerbach 
in the Tyrol. . . . The Prince went immediately to 
Frogmore to break it to the poor Duchess, and the 
Queen went there in the evening, as of course the 
Royal couple did not dine with us. . . . The Queen put 
on a black gown directly, and the pages this morning 
all look like mutes at a funeral, so black, with faces to 
match in gloom. We have had no orders yet about 
it, but of course it will be silk and crape ; and a six 
months' mourning. . . . How glad they must be now 
that they put off the play for last night three days ago. 
. . . We had a drive yesterday. Princess Alice and we 
three ladies, the two royal couples being in another 
carriage in front ; and we had something very like an 
accident, the near wheeler, with the postilion riding, 
coming down, and getting dragged some yards before 
they could stop — thank God the man rolled himself 
on to the grass, just clear of the carriage, which rolled 
past awfully near him, and was all but in the ditch the 
next moment — nothing serious, however, happened, 
except to the poor grey pony, that broke both 
its knees. . . . The Household can't make up 
their mind about Col. Biddulph's present, but I 
hope it will end in a silver breakfast equipage. . . . 
We are all amused at the familiar way in which 



THE PEACE 321 

Col. Biddulph says " Mary Seymour " in talking 
of her. . , . 



The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. 17th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The poor Duchess of Kent 
is still in great distress. . . . Last night after dinner the 
Queen went quite alone to Frogmore and sat an hour 
with the Duchess, which was very nice, and better for 
the old lady than a large party of them visiting her and 
agitating her. Princess Royal remained with the two 
Princes the while, and the elder Prince went to sleep, 
which I innocently thought would be a grand oppor- 
tunity for the young couple to have a little flirtation 
— but I stood corrected when the Princess said, " Oh ! 
no ! we could not talk for fear of disturbing him, 
it might have woke him ; I sat very still and looked 
up at the ceiling, and Prince Frederick turned over a 
book of photographs very gently." Upon which I 
wickedly asked if that was not a little dull, when I 
was assured that nothing could be dull when he was 
there. 

I am told he finds his s6jour here rather dull — he 
sees so little of her, and has nothing else to do. 
Yesterday I walked with Princess Alice ; and at Frog- 
more we joined the Prince of Wales and Mr. Gibbs 
and took a long walk together, and it was really very 
pleasant. The boy is shy, and not clever, they say, 
but he has a very sweet expression and pretty manners. 
He is very small, and does not look anything like so 
old as he is ; but to me there is something very 
attractive about him. 

X 



322 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. igth, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — We are all living in strict 
seclusion, the Queen being hitherto invisible, and 
household dinners being our daily fate . . . they talk 
of the funeral being on Saturday, but I don't know 
whether it is true. Fancy our horror at being told 
we are to appear in white or grey on Friday, Princess 
Royal's birthday ! Miss Gordon and I are going to 
make the best of it and wear white muslin in the 
morning, but the Duchess of Atholl, Lady Caroline, 
and the Princesses, will be in grey silk, but we are 
determined not to make up new silks, and we have 
no other alternative. I only hope we shall not have 
to walk with Princess Royal, as I don't care inside the 
Castle, but I don't fancy walking out in white muslin 
in November. . . . She (Princess Royal), is very sad 
about seeing so little of dear " Fritz " — for it seems 
the tete-a-tete can take placg at no hour but six, as 
the Prince won't spare them his little study (next the 
Queen's) at any other hour, and the Doctors have 
ordered her to dine at six, so she does not see him at 
all in private. 

Nov. 21st, 1856. 

Here I am, feeling disconsolate in my white muslin 
gown, but rather comforted by Lady Caroline's 
assurance that I can perfectly go out this afternoon 
in my black merino, putting on a white bonnet, which 
I have got all ready. We have just been looking at 
Princess Royal's presents, which are very prettily 
arranged in the Queen's breakfast-room, on a table ; 



THE PEACE 323 

and as we had just seen the Prince, Prince Fred, and 
the Prince of Wales, sally forth for shooting, and the 
Queen with her two elder daughters walk off towards 
Frogmore, we knew the coast was clear. It was a 
very pretty set out altogether, and nicely arranged ; 
and some of the presents are very valuable ; a light 
blue enamel and diamond bracelet from " Fritz," and 
a flat gold bracelet with ruby and diamond clasp from 
the King of Prussia were among the handsomest — the 
best of all was a string of pearls from the Queen and 
Prince, which I suppose was partly the pearls that the 
Duchesses of Kent and Gloucester always give them 
one or two of on their birthdays, and which the 
Queen and Prince had added to and finished off with 
a pretty little clasp of a pearl set in small diamonds. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 

Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. 23rd, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Queen appeared among 
us for the first time in mourning this morning for 
church. She was awfully mournful in her dress, 
silk with crape folds to the very top, and black crape 
collars and sleeves, not to mention a black crape scarf 
over her shoulders. She has not yet dined with us, 
but I suppose she will begin to-morrow. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. 25th, 1856. 
Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen, &c., dined 
with us last night, and it went off very well, but they 



324 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

say she dreaded the one dinner terribly after dining 
so long in private. She sent me a print of the Prince 
of Leiningen, which I had to thank her for last night, 
but I did it in fear and trembling lest it should bring 
on a flood of tears, and it was very near doing it, but 
she swallowed them down and then went on talking 
about him a long time. . . , The Queen goes to 
Osborne on the 4th. 

Windsor, Nov. 2yth, 1856. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We have no news, all is 
very quiet and rather dull — no band of an evening, 
the Queen has given them leave till Christmas, and 
no visitors, of course. To-morrow there is to be a 
Council — and on Saturday the Queen goes to Clare- 
mont to see the ex-Queen. , . , 



The Hon Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley. 

Windsor, Nov. 28th, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We had fifteen Cabinet 
Ministers or other persons of distinction to lunch, 
but got no news out of any of them — the Bishops of 
London and Ripon came to do homage ; and four 
men were to be knighted ; Parliament was to be 
further prorogued for six weeks, and lots of business 
was to be done ; and in consequence the Queen did 
not get out, and the Prince too was at the Council, 
and the Princess Royal, instead of her walk with 
Fritz, had to walk with Miss Gordon, as no chaperon 
for the young people was forthcoming. 



THE PEACE 325 

Windsor, Nov. 30th, 1856. 

. . . The four Royalties went yesterday morning 
to Claremont, where they saw the ex-Queen, the 
Nemours and the Joinvilles,i and came home in good 
time for lunch, very cold and very sorry for them- 
selves. . . . We have got Lords Granville and Claren- 
don, both most agreeable. . . . 

Windsor, Dec. 2nd, 1856. 

Dearest Papa, — The Queen goes to Osborne at 
eleven on Thursday. ... I took down all the drawings 
I had done since the Queen saw them, last night, 
and they were much admired, — there were the 
German ones, the Osborne ones, the soldiers in 
Buckingham Palace Gardens, and Dunbar Castle. 
Lord Clarendon is gone, a great loss. . . . We have 
just been attending the Queen and all the family to 
the skating pond, when the Prince and gentlemen 
were showing off on the ice ; we looked on dutifully 
for some time from the shore, till I got so cold I 
resolved at all hazards to take a turn, and walked 
round the pond ; Col. Bouverie joined me half-way. 
Miss Gordon came too, at my second turn, and before 
we could get round, the Queen, moved with envy, 
had followed our example, at which the gentlemen 
gave up skating, and we all took a little walk, and then 
came home. . . . 

Windsor, March ^th, 1857. 
Dearest Papa, — Lord Palmerston is to come here 
this evening, and we are all anxiety to know what is 

^ The Prince de Joinville married, in 1843, Fran^oise, daughter of 
the Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil. 



326 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

going to happen ; though I suppose if there is a dis- 
solution, which seems pretty certain, nothing can 
happen till Parliament meets again. The Queen 
seemed very well last night, and not at all worried or 
anxious ; and the royal party were all rejoiced to find 
the Duchess of Kent looking decidedly better, and 
suffering less than when they left her a month ago. 
She is, however, able for very little. ... I had a long 
walk this morning with Princess Royal, and Lady 
Churchill is gone out walking with her now, the 
Queen and Prince having gone out in a pony phaeton, 
he driving her. . . . 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 

Royal visitors at Windsor — ^The Prince of Wales — Princess Royal's 
bridesmaids — Visit to Worsley — The picture gallery at Manchester 
— A pleasant evening — The Queen thinks the horrors of Mutiny 
exaggerated — Anxiety for those before Delhi — The Siamese am- 
bassadors — A letter from the Crown Prince — Good news from 
India — A change of Ministry — The Prince of Wales growing up — 
Osborne again — Prince Consort goes to Coburg — An early break- 
fast — Windsor — Distribution of Royal gifts — The fast set — 
The Kimbolton " petits jeux" — Knickerbockers — A Royal salute 
— An infernal machine. 

The year 1857 was one long to be remembered in 
English history as that of the Indian Mutiny ; with 
the usual irony of fate, it was socially one of extreme 
gaiety. Royal visitors followed one another in endless 
processions to the Court, which was busy celebrating 
the betrothal of the Princess Royal. Prince Frederick 
William was once more a guest, and was with the 
Royal Family when they stayed at Worsley in order 
to visit the Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, March 8th, 1857. 

Dearest Papa, — What a hailstorm 1 Princess 

Royal and I have just narrowly escaped being out in 

it by rushing home through the Orangery, and the 

327 



328 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Queen and Prince were just before us ; we came 
in for a little rain, but were all safe before the hail 
began to fall, and not much wet, thanks to an umbrella 
we borrowed of Mr. Gibbs, whom we met going out 
with the Prince of Wales to enjoy the storm. Last 
night the Duchess of Kent came again in the evening, 
and we all thought her looking better. . . . She comes 
to London, I believe, on the 1 7th, and the Hohenlohes 
with her ; but they must leave England by the end 
of the month, which will be a sad loss to the Duchess, 
who is very fond of Princess Hohenlohe, her daughter. 
. . . Prince of Wales, who now dines at seven, by 
himself, yesterday for the first time had a little dinner- 
party of a few friends, the table being laid for seven ; 
rather nice for him, and good for him too, in 
giving him a little more assurance and confidence of 
manner. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, March loth, 1857. 

Dearest Mama, — I have just come in from our 
daily morning walk with Princess Royal ; her marriage 
is to take place next January, as the Queen will not 
let her go till then, and besides it is less inconvenient 
for her to be in London then, and the marriage must 
take place there, partly on account of the difficulty of 
getting down here all the people they wish to be 
present, and partly to have this place free and vacant 
for the young couple to honeymoon in. It is rather 
amusing to hear her talk, and she seems more and 
more devoted to her Prince, and actually, I believe, 
is counting the weeks till the happy time arrives. . . . 
At her marriage, she and her bridesmaids are to be 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 329 

the only persons in white, the Queen is to wear white 
lace over blue silk, and the three little Princesses white 
lace over pink silk. The six bridesmaids are to be 
(that is, provided they are willing, for only two have 
been asked yet, and that they are not married in the 
meantime), Lady Susan Clinton, Lady Cecilia Lennox, 
Lady Catherine Hamilton, Lady Constance Villiers, 
Lady Cecilia Molyneux, and Lady Victoria Noel — 
rather a nice set.^ 

Windsor, March nth, 1857. 

We have had another hard day's work, two walks 
with Princess Royal, besides sitting with her while 
she was photographed. Really, if this goes on I think 
we shall have to strike for an increase of wages, or 
at any rate to ask for an allowance for shoe money. 
However, I don't complain, for I came in for a 
charming ride yesterday with Captain De Ros, the 
Prince, like an affectionate father, taking charge of his 
eldest son and daughter in front, which it is rather a 
grievance among the younger branches of the family 
that he can very seldom be induced to do. . . . The 
Duchess of Kent did too much the day before yester- 
day when she came and dined here, and was very ill 
yesterday, but is rather better to-day. ... I hear very 
bad accounts of the Duchess of Gloucester. 

Buckingham Palace, Monday, March -zyd, 1857. 
Dearest Mama, — . . . To-night we have got 
Feruk Khan and five other men in high extinguishers, 
and thirty visitors to dinner. . . . Nothing at all 

* Lady Susan Clinton, only daughter of Henry, fifth Duke of New- 
castle ; Lady Cecilia Lennox, youngest daughter of Charles, fifth Duke 
of Richmond and Gordon ; Lady Constance Villiers, eldest daughter of 
George, fourth Earl of Clarendon ; Lady Cecilia Molyneux, only daughter 
of Charles, third Earl of Sefton ; Lady Victoria Noel, youngest daughter 
of second Earl of Gainsborough. 



330 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

remarkable has happened here ; Mrs. Biddulph came 
yesterday afternoon to see the Queen, so we all had a 
glimpse of her and I thought her looking very well 
and very happy ; and her Colonel's manner very nice 
with her. . . . 

Windsor Castle, June 27th, 1857. 

... I wrote to Holland last night about my chair, 
and it is come, offered and most graciously accepted, 
and thought all the handsomer for being large ; and it 
is to stand below a great looking-glass, between " dear 
Mama and dear Papa's pictures," in the large saloon 
in the new Palace at Berlin. 

T/ie Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley. 
WoRSLEY,! Manchester, Tuesday, June ^oth, 1857. 

Dearest Papa, — We have had a very successful 
day, barring the rain, which certainly marred it a good 
deal ; it was showery from the time we started, nine 
o'clock, and soon after we arrived, at half-past eleven, 
it came on a regular even downpour, which has 
continued ever since. But it was something to get 
the Queen's entrance over in comparatively fine 
weather, and certainly the millions of well-dressed, 
respectable-looking, orderly men, women, and children 
with which the streets were lined, all cheering and 
looking pleased and loyal, are a striking and impressive 
sight. I was only so sorry for all their finery — ours was 
pretty well taken care of ; tell Mama I had on my 
black moire antique and the Duchess of Sutherland 
had one on too ; and white gloves ! nobody else had 
such a thing. My moire looked lovely, and instead of 
being too hot, it felt rather cold. On the whole I was 
* Seat of the Earl of Ellesmere, 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 331 

amused, and am glad to have seen it all ; the music 
when we first came into the Exhibition building, the 
addresses read to, and answered by, the Queen, and the 
ceremony of knighting one of the Mayors, which she 
did very prettily with Sir Harry Smith's sword, were 
all interesting to see and hear. And the collection of 
pictures is splendid, and most faultlessly lighted ; 
nowhere is one plagued with the glare from the varnish 
on the pictures. ... I don't know how they have 
managed, but I think every picture-gallery builder ought 
to take a leaf out of their book. I have got such a 
catalogue for you ! in red morocco with gilt edges. The 
only fault of the thing is that there are too many fine 
pictures, and I was fairly dazed and surfeited with art 
before we had got half through the rooms. We got 
home at half-past four, having had no lunch at 
Manchester, except a ham sandwich, a piece supplied 
almost by chance by the Committee, but we refreshed 
as soon as we got here. The house is charming, and 
place far finer, that is, grander and more imposing 
than I expected, with a view over the whole country 
round and the Bridgwater Canal meandering through 
it, as the house stands on rather rising ground. . . . 
The party is small and very nice, consisting besides 
the Queen's party, of Lord and Lady Ellesmere,^ Lady 
Blanche Egerton,^ the Ellice Byngs,^ G. Balfours, 
Emlyns,^ Lord Burlington,^ Lord Cawdor,® and Alger- 

* George, second Earl of Ellesmere, m. Lady Mary Campbell, 
daughter of first Earl Cawdor. 

• Lady Blanche Egerton, youngest daughter of Francis, first Earl 
of Ellesmere. 

' George Byng, Viscount Enfield, afterwards third Earl of Straf- 
ford, m. Lady Alice Egerton, daughter of first Earl of Ellesmere. 

* John, Viscount Emlyn, afterwards Earl Cawdor, m. Sarah, 
second daughter of General Hon. Henry Compton Cavendish. 

• William, second Earl of Burlington, afterwards seventh Duke of 
Devonshire. * • John, first Earl Cawdor. 



332 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

non and Arthur Egerton.^ They are quite full, and I am 
in John Bal's dressing-room, and they do without one 
till I am gone. . . . To-morrow we go to Manchester 
at ten, the Queen to the Exhibition again, the Prince 
Consort, Prince of Wales, and Prince Frederick to the 
Town Hall, where they are to receive addresses, and 
read answers. Prince Fritz has been practising his for 
a week, assisted in the pronunciation by Princess 
Royal. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

WoRSLEY, Manchester, Wednesday, July ist, 1857. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Our evening last night 
was rather nice ; very quiet, being only the party in 
the house, but less formal than I have ever seen a 
Royal evening ; we all sat anyhow, studded about 
comfortably anywhere, the Queen being on a little 
chair turned half round, with her elbow on the table, 
quite careless and comfortable looking. 

Windsor, Sunday, Oct. i8th, 1857, 

Dearest Mama, — The young Prince's visit here 
is put off for the present, and Princess Royal is low 
accordingly. Fancy her great fear being lest our 
wicked troops in India should kill any of the dear 
Sepoys. . . . Hoffarth^ is definitely engaged for 
the Princess, all is arranged quite satisfactorily, and 
she has seen the Queen, who was very kind and 
gracious. 

1 The Hon. Algernon and the Hon. Arthur Egerton, sons of the first 
Earl of Ellesmere. 

' Miss Stanley's maid. 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 333 

Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 1857. 

. . . The Prince of Wales returned yesterday, 
just after we all came in from our ride, from his tour. 
He is a little grown, I think, and looks bronzed and 
manly, and improved in manner and appearance. He 
enjoyed his time in Switzerland immensely, and 
walked as much as any of the party ; one day, fully 
twenty miles, from Altorf round by W. Tell's valley, 
by the Righi ; to Lucerne. He dined with us last 
night, and as I understand, is to do so always now : I 
think it is quite right at his age and in his position. 

Windsor, Friday, Oct. z^rd, 1857, 

Dearest Mama, — ... By the by. Lady Victoria 
Noel is not to be one of the Princess Royal's brides- 
maids, and Emma Stanley* is. Also they have 
added two to the original six, namely. Lady Susan 
Murray ^ and Lady Gwendolen Anson.^ ... I think you 
must be wrong about the Government being dis- 
satisfied with Lord Canning ; if they are, they act the 
contrary part very well, for they all take every oppor- 
tunity of telling everybody that chooses to hear them 
that the only person in whose conduct, from the very 
first, they have never been able to pick a flaw, is 
Lord Canning. They however seem to think that the 
Calcutta Government is both too lenient and rather 
incompetent, and as far as it has the power, acts like a 
clog upon him. Everybody is sorry for Lord Elgin, 
who seems to be condemned to float about the shores 

^ Lady Emma Stanley, only daughter of Edward, fourteenth Earl 
of Derby. 

• Lady Susan Murray, eldest daughter of Alexander, sixth Earl 
of Dunmore. 

» Lady Gwendoline Anson, fourth daughter of Thomas, first Earl 
of Lichfield. 



334 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of China for a wholly undefined period ; the only 
thing that can be suggested as a consolation is, that 
he draws his pay all the time, and certainly has no 
means of spending it. . . . 

Windsor, Saturday, Oct. 2^th, 1857. 

. . . The Clarendons and Duke of Cambridge 
are gone, and we are quite alone ; so the Royal party 
have taken the opportunity of going — to Claremont 
first, and thence to Hampton Court, to lionise it in 
every direction, for Princess Royal's benefit, as they 
think she should see it before she leaves England. . . . 

Windsor, Monday, Oct. 26th, 1857. 

Dearest Mama, — I have been out all morning, 
riding with the Queen, who was accompanied by the 
two Princes ; it looked rather nice to see her with her 
two boys, both pleasing looking, and Prince of Wales 
decidedly very good looking, to my mind. He told 
me a good deal about his Swiss tour, which he seems 
to have much enjoyed. The Prince Consort was out 
shooting, but came home to lunch in time to see 
Prince Alfred depart for Alverstoke ; he is going to 
stay there a few months, by way of learning navigation. 

. . . We are to have a few people here this 
week ; the Cambridges on Wednesday ; the Vernon 
Smiths to-day ; which latter we believe are coming 
entirely in order that the Queen may ask them if it 
is true that a lady has arrived " minus " nose and ears, 
as the tone the Queen takes about the Indian horrors 
is saying they are either grossly exaggerated or wholly 
false ; I do not exactly see on what grounds she 
fancies this, but so it is. 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 335 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 1857, 

Dearest Papa, — So the lists of killed and wounded 
before Delhi are come already ! and dreadful as they 
are, it is a relief to find how small the proportion of 
officers killed is, in comparison to the wounded. 
Poor Miss Stopford^ was in sad anxiety yesterday 
about her brother, who is before Delhi, in the 52nd ; 
but the Queen very kindly sent her a message the 
moment she got the telegram yesterday on her return 
from the Wellington College, to let her know that 
there was no one of that name among the list of 
sufferers. . . , We have had the Vernon Smiths here, 
indeed I believe he is still closeted with the Queen, 
and has been so since breakfast-time, missing one 
train after another ; but of course the mails happening 
exactly to come in to-day made a great deal of business 
for her to transact with him. . . . The Queen is a 
good deal more convinced of the truth of the horrible 
stories of the barbarities, which is a comfort. I have 
been reading such an interesting book, Tom Brown s 
School-days, Rugby being the school, and the period 
Dr. Arnold's reign. . . . 

Windsor, Sunday, Nov. ist, 1857. 
Dearest Papa, — I have really no news ; this has 
been a particularly quiet waiting. I have not even a 
chance of seeing the Siamese ambassadors before I go, 
as it has been explained to the Queen that, according 
to Siamese ideas of etiquette, it would be derogatory 
to her dignity, and would look like unseemly haste, 

^ Hon. Horatia Stopford (V.A.), daughter of Colonel the Hon. 
Edward Stopford, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 



336 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

and throwing herself at their heads, if she were not 
to keep them waiting at least ten days or a fortnight 
for their audience, which she is accordingly to do. . . , 

Windsor, Tuesday, Nov. 3rd,'i85y, 

Dearest Papa, — Cremorne gave me your letter 
at lunch to-day, and made us all laugh about the 
Siamese ambassadors at Claridge's. 

We were in a state of excitement when he arrived, 
in consequence of having just received the Queen of 
the French, and having to entertain her suite ; poor 
old woman, she looks sadly fragile and broken, though 
she still walks as upright as ever. . . . Do you 
remember Pauline de Perigord, Mdme. de Dino's 
daughter, when we were children and old M. de 
Tallyrand was Ambassador here ^ You know she 
married a Due de Castellane, and was in a few years 
left a widow. Well, her daughter, just seventeen, is 
just married to a Count Radziwill ; a marriage they 
are all pleased at, arranged by Pauline's grandmother, 
the old Duchesse de Sagan. ... I was driving with 
Princess Royal, with whom I had the honour of 
spending a good part of the preceding day, and who, 
by way of a treat, during the drive, read me " Fritz's " 
last letter, the whole of it, beginning from " Meine 
Vicky ! " to " Ewig dein treuster Freund, Fritz ! ! " 
two sheets full, and a very nice letter, but alas ! post- 
poning tus coming again for a fortnight. . , . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Nov. 4th, 1857, 

Dearest Mama, — . . . There is so much to be 
done in the mornings now by the Maids of Honour. 




THE MARCHIONESS OF ELY 
After the painting by Sir George Hayter 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 337 

... I have been for two hours and a half basking 
in the sunshine of Royalty, in the print room first 
with Princess Royal ; then all over the state rooms 
with her, then back to her own rooms, where she 
was showing me some books when we were both 
summoned by V.R. to come and dance reels for the 
good of our healths with her and the children, which 
we accordingly did, till we were all like to drop ; 
then walking for half an hour up and down the 
Corridor with the same V.R., which was lucky for 
me, as I had thus a fine opportunity of telling her 
about Afraja, which she approved highly of and was 
very sweet and rather pleased about. Then she said 
some nice things about Cremorne,^ who, she said, looked 
shy (I suppose at the Council), and asked after Augusta, 
and was altogether very nice. Then when I had done 
with her, I went to get my portfolio and showed it to 
Princess Alice, Mdme. RoUande and Princess Royal 
also being there ; and then at half-past five I came 
to Lady Jocelyn to refresh myself with a cup of tea. 
Cremorne is looking uncommonly well, and will, I 
hope, feel quite at home among us in a day or two ; 
to-day we have the Granvilles and Mr. and Lady 
Frances Baillie,^ besides the Duchess of Kent, so he 
will see what one of our usual everyday evenings at 
Windsor is like. ... I wish, as the Queen said, 
that I were going to stay a few days to make him 
acquainted with the place and his duties. He went 
yesterday afternoon to Eton to see the wicked Richard,' 
whose room he describes as most luxurious ... he 
had not a word to say for himself for not writing. 

* Lord Cremorne was one of the Lords in Waiting 1857-8, 

" Lady Frances Bruce, third daughter of eighth Earl of Elgin, 
m. E. Baillie of Dochfour. 

* The Hon. Richard Dawson, third son of Lord Cremorne. 

Y 



338 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Delhi was taken by assault, Lucknow relieved 
and Cawnpore recaptured by the end of 1857, and 
the awful tension was considerably relieved before 
the Princess Royal's marriage in January 1858. In 
March, Palmerston went out and Derby came in once 
more, with Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer 
and Malmesbury once more in the Foreign Office. 
The change of Government of course implied changes 
in the Household as far as the gentlemen were con- 
cerned ; the Duchess of Manchester was Mistress of 
the Robes. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, May 21st, 1858. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We dine h la Russe 
here, with the dessert on the table, and it is really 
not so bad, or rather I am growing used to it. There 
were three little new silver branches on the table, of 
three lights each, which the Queen and Prince seemed 
very much delighted with, and they really are very 
neat and pretty ; they are in future to live at Osborne, 
thereby saving a little of the eternal moving of plate. 
. . . To-morrow a quantity of people are expected — 
the Duchess of Kent, Prince Leiningen, Prince V. 
Hohenlohe, Prince of Wales, and Prince Alfred, so 
we shall be a houseful, indeed I do not know where 
they will all be put up. The Prince himself goes 
to-morrow to Weybridge to the Duchess of Orleans' 
funeral, but comes back to dinner. The Queen told 
me yesterday that she heard from all quarters that 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 339 

Hof&rth did extremely well, and was very much liked 
both by the Princess and in the house ; and she 
asked me a great deal about Meyer, and laughed, and 
told me to " take care, or she would be robbing me of 
my maid again ! " . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, May 23rd, 1858. 

Dearest Papa, — The Royal family is mustering 
strong here just now, the whole of the children, 
except Princess Royal, being now in this house. 
Prince of Wales is, I am sorry to say, not a bit grown, 
but he looks less boyish. Some of his movements are 
absurdly like the Prince's. ... I think the end of 
the business about India very disgusting, and cannot 
believe that Lord Canning will ever consent to 
stay on though they may send him ever so many 
telegrams of support after writing him reproving 
despatches. . . . 

Osborne, May 25th, 1858. 
. . . The prettiest of the Queen's birthday presents 
was a locket from the Prince Consort, a small picture 
of Princess Royal set in diamonds, very pretty and 
very like. Also an embroidered tarlatan gown from 
the Duchess of Kent, which we had the advantage 
of seeing on the Royal person in the evening. . . . 
When Prince Alfred sails in the Euryalus^ he is to be 
accompanied by Mr. Cowell, and as by the regulations 
he cannot have a servant, and yet the Royal mind cannot 
take in the possibility of a prince doing without one, 
Mr. Cowell is to have a servant, whose exclusive duty 
will be to wait upon Prince Alfred. 



340 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, May -zyth, 1858. 

Dearest Mama, — This is the day we lose the 
Consort, and I assure you we all feel quite low in 
consequence. ... I never saw such blustery weather ; 
yesterday afternoon was fine, but even yesterday we 
could make no head against the wind, and with oars 
and all our efforts could not get beyond a certain point 
called Egypt, a little west of West Cowes. However, 
we rather enjoyed our afternoon's amusement (which 
was strictly private), the party consisting only of 
Colonel Ponsonby, the Duchess of Atholl, Miss Stop- 
ford, and me, and timed it very cleverly, making our 
astounded boatman land us at Osborne Pier, and reach- 
ing the Mansion itself at a few minutes past seven. 
(Note. The boatman, poor innocent man, had been 
entertaining us with marvellous stories of how the 
Queen had caught thirteen and a half dozen of whiting 
trout out of that very identical boat one afternoon. 
I never breakfasted any day without whiting trout ! ! !) 

Osborne, May 30th, 1858. 

. . . The Consort will not be back before Tuesday 
or Wednesday week, as Princess Frederick William's 
foot is so bad that she cannot go to Coburg to meet 
him, so that he will have to go round by Berlin, after 
the family congress at Coburg is over, and spare her a 
day, much to his disgust ; but he could not refuse 
to go that little distance to see his newly-married 
daughter. They swear it is her sprained ankle and 
nothing else that keeps her ; but we all think it is a 
marvellous sprain that prevents her being moved to 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 341 

Coburg by rail and post, with every comfort and con- 
venience. . . . Prince Alfred is here to-day ; Alver- 
bank, where he lives, is on the coast exactly opposite, 
not above half an hour by steam, and consequently 
either he comes over, or the Queen crosses to see him, 
almost every day. . . . 

Osborne, June ist, 1858. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Fancy the Queen's activity ! 
she went off at eight this morning, with Princess Alice, 
the Duchess of Atholl, and General Grey, in the Fairy, 
to breakfast at Alverbank with Prince Alfred. It 
seems that she was very much struck by the Duchess's 
going two or three days ago to breakfast with Captain 
Murray at Southsea ; the fact was, the Duchess wanted 
to see him, and could not be sure of doing so any 
other way ; and though she does not like getting up 
early, and is habitually late of a morning, she made the 
effort for that purpose. Fancy her dismay when 
yesterday the Queen told her she was to go with her 
this morning to Alverbank, adding that she had the 
less scruple in asking her, because she knew she liked 
early expeditions ; indeed it was her early breakfast at 
Southsea that had put this into the Queen's head ! 

Yesterday we cruised as far as Bembridge Point, 
the easternmost bit of the island, and this afternoon we 
have been commanded to be in readiness to attend 
H.M. to the Rollay ten gun brig, to see Prince 
Alfred run up and down the yards and show off his 
seamanship. 

Osborne, June yd, 1858. 

This will be my last letter from Osborne. The 
Prince was at Gotha last night at 8.5 p.m., and was to 
go to-day to Potsdam. The Queen has got over the 



342 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

time of her widowhood wonderfully ; very much, I 
do believe, owing to her getting telegrams two or 
three times a day, and thus always knowing exactly 
what he is about. She has been musical in the even- 
ings lately, and has taken to singing a little herself, to 
my accompaniment, both alone and duets with me, 
and her voice is really very clear and sweet still. I 
have got a sketch of Princess Alice in my incident 
book, rather nice. . . . My " Victorias " were much 
approved, and I have had to try my hand at " Alice," 
" Helena," and " Louise," for the Princesses. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Jan. ist, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . We have all been this morn- 
ing down to the Riding house with the Queen, to see 
the Royal gifts distributed. It is always rather a pretty 
sight, but I like it best when we go down among the 
people ; whereas to-day, perhaps on account of the 
fever, we all staid in the gallery upstairs. . . . We 
danced last night till twelve ; then shook hands, 
wished each other Happy New Years, and good-nights 
— and then went to bed, very cool and placid, for a 
more unexciting evening it would have been im- 
possible to conceive ... a little interlude by the Royalty 
only, of four couples circling round an odd man (also 
Royal), at a particular moment the music changed, a 
waltz struck up, the couples separated, and the odd 
man tried to catch a lady in the scramble ; but it was 
beautiful to see how for a long time, instead of 
scrambling, the five Princes took regular turns of 
being left out. 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 343 

By the by, the whole world is talking of petits 
jeux^ the Gunnersbury ones seem to have been 
almost as rich as the Kimbolton ones, with the Due 
de MalakofF^ chasing all the young ladies into corners 
and kissing them, at Forfeits. I hear the last new 
" fast " ladies' fashion is said to be wearing " Knicker- 
bockers." . . . Lady Caledon^ is doing grand things 
in Ireland, going to give a ball ; and meanwhile in 
great distress about her cottages, as she has been 
offering prizes for neatness and tidiness, and now she 
says she does not know what to do, she has twenty- 
two lovely cottages, and only twelve prizes ! really 
she almost wishes some of them were a little dirty ! 
It is truly a hard case. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Jan. ■^rd, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . M. Isturitz^ has been here 
these two days, having brought Prince of Wales the 
Spanish Golden Fleece, which the young man ap- 
peared in last night for the first time ; he always wears 
the Garter now, and it looks very funny upon any- 
thing so small and childish-looking ; the blue ribbon 
nearly covers his chest, and his little leg looks quite 
absurd with its Garter. He is, however, certainly 
grown, and growing. 

I have never been so struck with the prettiness of 
the Queen's little ways as this time ; on Saturday 

* Aimable J. J. Pelisier, Due de Malakoff, Marshal of France, 1794- 
1864, Ambassador at London 1858. 

» Lady Jane Grimston (V.A.). fourth daughter of first Earl of 
Verulam, extra Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, m. 
James, third Earl of Caledon. 

* Don Francisco d'Isturitz, bom 1790. 



344 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

evening, between the acts of the music she went the 
whole way down St. George's Hall, quite alone (we 
could not follow her, as none of the Royalty did) 
passing along each row of seats, as it were, up one and 
down the next, zigzag, and shook hands with, or 
spoke to, each individual lady present, which included 
everybody within distance to be invited. I never saw 
anything so prettily done, and such a shy thing for 
her to do ! for of course many of the ladies she did 
not know ; we all felt a little nervous for her, and as 
if we were leaving her shamefully in the hands of the 
Philistines, so far away from all her own people — but 
we could not very well help it. I never saw her do 
exactly that before. . . . 

P.S. — The Duchess of MalakofF eating soup with 
her knife is denied ; it was Bologna sausage with her 
fingers instead ; I do not know that that mends matters 
much. 

Windsor, Jan. 5th, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — The D. and Duchess of Mala- 
kofFs sayings and doings seem to have amused every- 
body — I have heard a quantity of rather amusing but 
coarsish fun about them — but I will write it all, and 
then you may do as you like about showing the letter 
— you are a discreet family party down there now. 

It seems the Kimbolton " petits jeux" scenes were 
even if possible far worse than we had heard. On 
the week-days, the ladies used to hunt one another, 
with little whips, which they cracked at, and cut one 
another with, if they did not go fast enough. But on 
Sundays when they had all the gentlemen with them 
(there being no hunting or shooting on that day), they 
packed off a gentleman as the hare, who went over 
hedge and ditch, any where or any way he pleased, 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 345 

dropping bits of paper to show the hounds the way ; 
and on one of these occasions the way lay over a nasty 
stile on the other side of which was a deep but narrow 
ditch ; the Duchess of Manchester rushed over the 
stile in advance of the other hounds, caught a hoop of 
her " cage " on the stile, and went regularly head 
over heels, and lighted on her feet in the ditch, her 
cage and whole petticoats remaining above, above her 
shoulders and head. They say there was never such 
a thing seen — and the other ladies hardly knew 
whether to be thankful or not that a part of her under- 
clothing consisted in a pair of scarlet tartan " Knicker- 
bockers " (the things Charlie shoots in) — which were 
revealed to the view of all the world in general and 
the Due de MalakofF in particular, who came up next 
after her, and whose Duchess on that occasion made 
the remark we heard of. In telling the story to the 
Duchess of Wellington she varied it by saying, " Ma 
ch^re, c'^tait diabolique ! ". . . 

P.S. — Lord Palmerston made us all laugh yesterday 
with a Compi^gne story. The keepers there cry 
" Coq " and " Poule," when the pheasants get up — 
and an old English servant who was with him after- 
wards said to him, " Pull ! Pull ! indeed : if you had 
pulled every time he told you, there would not have 
been a hen bird left 1 " 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Jan. loth, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Prince of Wales left us this 
morning, in great spirits, and in his Colonel's uniform, 
ready to present the colours to the Canadian Regiment 



34^ TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

at ShornclifFe, on his way to Folkestone. . . . His pass- 
port is made out under the title of Earl of Renfrew, 
by which he went on his former journey. . . . He is to 
be at Rome in three weeks. ... 

Windsor, Jan. i6th, 1859. 

. . . We are all dying to hear what happens when 
Prince Alfred arrives at Tunis, as hitherto the excuse 
has been that he has touched at British Colonies, and 
the Queen says, rather indignantly, " Did people wish 
the Sovereign's son to be received like any common 
person .? " and thinks the newspapers very presump- 
tuous and impertinent in their remarks. When he first 
joined at Portsmouth, the order went from here that 
he should be received with a royal salute — to which 
Sir G. Seymour replied that he hoped in that case the 
Prince Consort would bring him there himself, so as 
to have the excuse of his presence for the salute, as it 
would be very misplaced for the boy. I do not know 
how it was settled, but the wishes of the Royal parents 
are evident. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Jan. igth, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Queen is getting 
terribly impatient for news from Berlin ; Sir James 
Clarke is there. . . . 

Windsor, Jan. 21st, 1859. 

Great events have been taking place among the 
younger branches of the Royal family. Prince 
Arthur was on Tuesday last formally consigned to 
his Major (Elphinstone), the latter having previ- 



YEAR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY 347 

ously had an interview with Mrs. Thurston, the head 
nurse, to receive instructions as to how the small 
child was dressed, tucked up for the night, and so 
on — and he has now passed completely out of the 
hands of the womenkind into those of a footman — his 
only regret is that he is not yet allowed a regular valet 
out of livery, but only gets waited on by a red footman ; 
otherwise he is in the third heavens at the change, 
but we are taught by the Queen to believe that the 
nurses are inconsolable at losing him. Prince Leopold 
has taken his place in the schoolroom, under the new 
French governess, who came home the day before 
yesterday, in lieu of Mme. Rollande, pensioned off. 

We laughed a good deal yesterday at an anecdote 
of Lord Malmesbury's ; it seems Count Walewski 
went the other day to Lord Cowley ^ in an agony about 
a supposed infernal machine at some house in the 
Strand. Lord C. of course writes off at once to Lord 
M., who on receipt of the despatch goes off, also at 
once, to the house in the Strand, where he is shown 
a large duck gun, belonging to a Sir T. Shaw, a 
lodger in the house, who was very proud of it, as it 
had some new improvements of his own. On inquiry. 
Lord M. is told that Bernard had been to see it — also 
Lord Palmerston — and on asking how Lord P. came 
to hear or know anything about it, it turns out the 
landlord of the house is Lord P.'s bootmaker, and had 
vaunted this wonderful duck machine of his lodger's 
till he made Lord P. pay him a visit to look at it. 

* Henry, first Earl Cowley, 1804-1884. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

LAST YEARS OF WAITING 

Retrospect— The Emperor and the Pope — The French for " you 
be hanged" — A hydrangea — Prince Arthur's birthday — Aldershot 
— A dinner-party — A capable " chef" — Another change of Ministry 
— Crown Princess of Prussia — Queen's dislike of crossing the sea — 
Eight-handed duets — Royal journeys — The rage for cyphers — The 
Prince of Wales collects — And gives his photograph — Confirma- 
tion of Prince Alfred — Princess Beatrice recites — Waiting for 
the young Princes to come home — Court mourning — Engagement 
of Princess Alice. 

14 Grosvenor Square, Thursday, Feb. loth, 1859. 

I HAVE been arranging all my old letters written to 
Papa and Mama when I have at different times 
been in waiting ; and I find among them so much 
that has amused and interested me that I have 
resolved to put down on paper from time to time 
any interesting details or amusing stories I may hear, 
with the dates. 

Last night, dining at Mr. Elliot's, where we met 
Lord and Lady Grey,^ Lord Elcho,^ Mr. Young (the 
Canadian), H. Herbert and Mr. Brand, I was amused 
at hearing that the origin of the Kimbolton games 
of the ladies driving and whipping one another was 
that at Compi^gne the Emperor had, for his amuse- 
ment, desired them all to go down on all fours and 
in that attitude run about the room, he himself going 
round with a little whip chastising the laggards, who 

' Henry, third Earl Grey, m. Maria, daughter of Sir Joseph Copley. 
* Francis, Lord Elcho, eldest son of ninth Earl of Wemyss, bom 
1818. 

348 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 349 

were expected to cry out in character, " Bow-wow ! " 
But " un beau jour," as one of the French papers 
expresses it, the "Charmante Duchesse de B. eut 
I'idee originale de r^pondre, au lieu de ' Bow-wow ! ' 
— * Grouf ! Grouf ! ' Toutes les autres dames 
I'imit^rent ; Tempereur fut enchant^, et cette inspira- 
tion eut un succes fou." Can rational beings amuse 
themselves with such sport ! The story goes on to 
say that the Empress, among other amusements, 
bethought herself of organising a ballet, in which she 
herself danced, in the ordinary dress of a ballet dancer, 
the scene ending with a grand pirouette and tableau 
in which she stood on one leg, the other extended 
horizontally, and her fellow-dancer's arm round or 
rather under her waist, to give her the necessary 
support ! It was quite a relief to hear, after this, of 
the Emperor's conversation with Lord Palmerston, 
who declares that the Emperor said to him, " How 
do you get on with the Pope ? I can do nothing 
with him ; I am completely humbugged with him, I 
confess. When I say to him * I brought you back 
to Rome,' he answers : * I never asked you to ; I 
was very happy where I was, and did not want to 
come back.' If I say : * I will withdraw my troops,' 
all he says is, * Do, by all means,' and if I try and 
talk reasonably and persuade him to do anything, his 
reply is, * You be hanged.' 

I presume the Emperor talked English to Lord 
Palmerston — but I am curious to know the French 
or Italian equivalents for "humbugging" and " You be 
hanged ! " in which the original sentiment was con- 
veyed by His Holiness. There is rather an amusing 
anecdote going, that on M. de Morny's ^ marriage, 

1 Charles Auguste, Due de Morny, 1811-1865, natural son of Queen 
Hortense and General de Flahaut. 



350 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

two years ago, when they asked him what were his 
arms, or what arms he would take, he said at once, 
" Une Hortensia ; " and that, as his brother am- 
bassadors at Moscow (for the Emperor Alexander's 
coronation) could not help doubting the story, one 
of them made a pilgrimage to the coach-house, where, 
sure enough, they found the carriage with a large 
hydrangea on each panel. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Good Friday, April 22nd, 1859, 

Dearest Mama, — We arrived in beautiful time 
yesterday, and found the whole Confirmation party 
dispersed, with the exception of the Duke of Saxe 
Coburg. . . . The Confirmation was, I hear, an im- 
pressive and pretty sight. Princess Alice herself says 
she was very nervous, but she managed to conceal it 
so effectually that the bystanders were all struck, on 
the contrary, with her perfect self-possession. Princess 
Helena, poor child, was dissolved in tears the whole 
time, but her tears always lie very near the eye. This 
morning at half-past nine the Royal party had the 
Communion administered to them and one or two 
others, and at half-past eleven we all attended the 
usual morning service, and Mr. Ellison, the vicar of 
Windsor, preached, extempore, and very well, but, to 
the horror of some of the gentlemen, he preached 
forty-two minutes — a thing perfectly unheard of in 
that Chapel. He knew, of course, that the Queen 
would not be there ; she, the Prince, three Princesses, 
and Prince Arthur all came to prayers this afternoon 
instead ; and such a flock of them it did seem. . . . 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 351 

Princess Royal is not expected before the 22nd or 23rd 
of May, and is then to spend a week at Osborne and 
after that a week in London — and then goes back to 
Berlin ... it will be a short visit, but I suppose 
in the present state of matters Princes do not like to 
be too long away from home. . . . They said yesterday 
that bad news from abroad had come just before the 
Confirmation, and that Lord Derby looked very black 
and anxious, and hurried away directly after it, without 
waiting for the lunch, which was a grand public 
sort of affair. . . . 

Windsor, April 26th, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We had a very gay pretty 
little dance last night, in spite of there being no men 
invited but Col. Ridley, by way of a dancer ! Princess 
Alice, the little Queen of the evening, looked very 
nice, but dressed much too old for her, in a double 
skirt of straw-coloured silk, and wreath of daisies and 
violets. She is to wear a white satin train at the 
Drawing-room, which train is afterwards to be made 
up into a gown. . . . Miss Stopford and I have had a 
little present this afternoon which we are both pleased 
at ; a photograph of Princess Royal with her baby on 
lap, very sweet and young, and of a very small size, 
which the Queen sent us, with her love. ... I am at 
this moment reading the Memoirs of the Duchess of 
Orleans, which the Queen has lent me ; she saw me 
reading Lady Gainsborough's copy of the English trans- 
lation, and offered me her French one, which I grate- 
fully accepted, but I was rather shocked when it came 
this morning to my room, with the message that the 
Queen begged me not to lose the mark, as it was in her 
place I not half through the book. I felt quite ashamed 
to think of taking her unread book from her. . . , 



352 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Friday, April 2gth, 1859; 

Dearest Papa, — We have just got rid of our Royal 
visitors, which is a blessing ; the Princess Clementina 
is gone back to Claremont, and the Due d'Oporto ^ to 
Southampton, there to await the arrival of his future 
brother-in-law. Prince George of Saxony,^ whom he is 
to carry on board his corvette to Lisbon ; there the 
marriage will almost immediately take place, and the 
young couple are expected on a visit to the Queen, on 
their way to Saxony, on May i6th, so we shall 
probably see them. The Princess is said to be hand- 
some, but very fat and large for her age, not quite 
sixteen, " a month younger than me," Princess Alice 
says, evidently thinking herself quite old enough for 
that sort of thing. We hear no word of any intended 
visit from Holland, however — indeed nowadays it is 
difficult for any Princes to leave home, and I fear there 
is but little hope of Princess Royal making out her 
intended visit to England next month. This will be 
a very great disappointment to the Queen and Prince. 
Lord Derby was here last night and Lord Malmesbury 
is expected this evening — but we shall hear nothing 
from him. It is rather tantalising to see the red 
boxes dropping in at all hours and the Royalty and 
Ministers reading the despatches and telegrams and 
hear nothing ourselves — but I dare say there is little 
more in them than confirmation of the public papers' 

1 Dom Luis, second son of Queen Maria II of Portugal and Dom 
Ferdinand, born 1838. 

2 Prince George of Saxony, nephew of the King of Saxpny, born 
1832. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 353 

news. How the Government have been humbugged 
by our dear ally at Paris ! It is sickening to think of 
— and I agree with Miss Skerritt when she goes frantic 
at the remembrance of " the Queen having kissed the 
man ! " And the Queen was even more taken with 
him at the time than I had fancied, for she told Lady 
Churchill on her return from Paris that she had met 
many agreeable men in her life, but not one that could 
be compared to him ; that his manners and conversa- 
tion were equally delightful, and that she had been 
fourteen hours consecutively in his society, during 
their railway journey, and the interest and charm of 
his discourse never for an instant flagged. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mothery 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, May ist, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — This is little Prince Arthur's 
birthday, and he has just been showing us his presents, 
a very pretty lot, of which the handsomest is, as is but 
natural, from the Queen ; a beautiful hunting watch. 
. . . The Queen, it seems, thought Lord Derby very 
low and agitated on Thursday when he was here ; and 
it rather struck us all that his spirits were forced. A 
Council was held here yesterday, chiefly, I believe, to 
pass an order for raising the bounty to the sailors, as 
we want to get a good many more. . . . When I saw 
the collective wisdom of the nation arriving yesterday in 
two hack-cabs for the Council, and marked what it con- 
sisted of, Lords Hardwicke, Malmesbury, J. Manners,^ 

* Lord John Manners, second son of fifth Duke of Rutland, after- 
wards seventh Duke, First Commissioner of Works. 



354 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Salisbury,^ General Peel,^ and Mr. Bathurst,^ it 
did seem to me a farce of the first water ! Mr. 
Disraeli was there too ; he at least is not stupid, 
whatever his faults may be. Lord Derby had managed 
to be late and get left behind by the special train. I 
do not know whether he came afterwards. We are 
to go to St. George's Chapel, to the stalls, this after- 
noon, to return thanks publicly for our successes in 
putting down the Indian Mutiny. . . . The Prince is 
going to-morrow to lay the first stone of a bridge at 
Saltash, in Devonshire ; it will be a tremendous day's 
work, seven hours of railway each way ; he is to 
start at half-past five a.m. and not be back till one a.m. 
of the following day ; in the middle of the night, 
that is. . . . 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Tuesday, May -^rd, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Prince seems to have 
had a very satisfactory and rather interesting, though 
a long, day yesterday ; he left this exactly as the 
Castle clock struck six, and (as Taylor the page neatly 
expressed it) " by quite a coincidence it so happened 
that the clock struck one just as H.R.H. drove 
through the Arch on his return." The Saltash rail- 
way bridge, which he went to open, not, as I had 
fancied, to lay the first stone of, is supposed to be 
the finest piece of engineering work in this country, 

1 James, second Marquis of Salisbury, Lord President of the Council, 
1791-1868. 

* Rt. Hon. General Peel, Secretary of State for War, fifth son of 
Sir Robert Peel, first Baronet. 

' Hon. William Bathurst, second son of third Earl Bathurst, after- 
wards fifth Earl, Clerk of the Privy Council, 1791-1878, 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 355 

but has half ruined the G. Western, they say. But 
they are always reckless about money. . o . General 
Grey has just been saying that it seems by no means 
improbable that a great battle may take place within 
the next three days between the French and Austrians 
at or near Noir, upon which the Austrians are sup- 
posed to be marching in great force, to break the 
French and Sardinian line which extends from Casale 
to Alexandria. The Austrians are said to be extremely 
superior in riflemen and artillery, but every day will 
make them more even, as the French artillery is 
beginning to arrive at Genoa. It is said that Can- 
robert, who has been appointed the French Com- 
mander-in-Chief, has quietly assumed the supreme 
command of the Sardinian army as well — which is 
indeed only what was to be expected. General Grey 
thinks the elections going badly for the Government, 
and has no idea that Lord Derby can stay in after 
Parliament meets. . . . 

Royal Pavilion, Aldershot, Sunday, May 15th, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — Here we are, in our pretty little 
tent-like rooms, with every imaginable luxury concealed 
under a most amusing affectation of simplicity ; some- 
thing like the furnishing of a very first-rate Highland 
shooting quarter. . . . The Queen drove out and, 
being thus left to my own devices, I did a small sketch 
in my little book, sitting on the stone step in front of 
the Queen's sitting-room, which at any other time I 
durst not have done, but knowing she was out, I 
ventured. The reason I could not have done it at 
all times is because of its being wrong to pass windows 
when she is in her rooms, so as to look in upon her. 
... It is not much of a sketch, but nice as a remem- 



356 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

brance ; the whole place is studded with buildings 
since I was here, now nearly three years ago ; the 
barracks, which were just then begun, are now like a 
great town, and all over the plain little huts with 
gabled roofs have started up at every turn. The 
scenery is not very pretty, but last night must have 
looked lovely in the purple sunset light, but sorry 
were we to observe that it promised wind — the sun 
sinking, blood-red, into a sort of curtain of violet 
mist ; and to-day the wind is come, cold and keen, 
from the N. East, but the day bright, brilliant, and 
almost cloudless. 

We had a very large dinner-party last night, the 
Generals, principal Staff Officers, and all the Colonels 
in command of regiments now here ; about thirty- 
two we were altogether. I was the only lady on the 
side of the table opposite the Queen, and sat, as 
ordered, exactly opposite to her, without even so 
much as a plate of biscuits between us to obscure 
my view of my Sovereign, or hers of me — the table 
narrow too, and the thing altogether rather alarming. 
. . . Col. Biddulph told us he himself was rather 
electrified on being told at six o'clock we were to be 
thirty-four at dinner (there were one or two absentees, 
which a little reduced the number), and went into the 
kitchen somewhat in fear and trembling to break it to 
the acting "chef," Aberlin's deputy — but was relieved 
by the announcement being received with apparent 
composure and the placid answer of " Very well, sir." 
As he justly remarked, it shows what habit and train- 
ing will do, in the way of meeting unforeseen emer- 
gencies, the usual average here being sixteen or 
eighteen at dinner. We had plenty to eat when the 
time came, and not bad. . . . 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 357 

Our rooms are at the end of the Princesses' passage, 
and Princess Alice is for ever in and out of our rooms, 
and very affectionate in manner. She took me last 
night into their bedroom, where I had the privilege 
of seeing Princess Helena sound asleep in her little 
camp bed, her little brown capless head looking rather 
nice on the white pillow. Great was Princess Alice's 
indignation at her having selected the longest bed for 
herself — indeed she threatened to wake up the child 
and make her change ; but I believe she did not resort 
to this extreme measure, but contented herself with 
keeping the matter as a grievance to draw upon as 
occasion might serve. 

Tell Ois the Queen made many pretty speeches 
about little May, and more especially Anthony,^ 
whom she thinks lovely and very like his Mama ; and 
H.M. was pleased to laugh very heartily when I told 
her the children asked why the Prince was in a red 
dressing-gown (the robes of the Bath). I had to 
amuse the Royals before the gentlemen came in with 
some sweet music, and the rest of our time was passed 
in remodelling the arrangements of the room, pushing 
about and altering the chairs and tables, the Queen 
appealing pathetically to us all, masters and servants, to 
know if we could not remember how it always used to 
be. At last she was satisfied, order was restored 
happily before the whole red-coated party joined us, 
and I must confess, I think she had considerably im- 
proved the look of the room. . . . 

I had a letter from HofFarth "^ at Windsor this 
morning ; she gives me no news, only says the Princess 
is in great force and good looks, and that the Queen is 

*■ Hon. Anthony Dawson, fourth son of Lord Cremorne. 
• Miss Stanley's maid. 



358 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

pleased both with her looks and "toilettes," which 
last is gratifying to Hoffarth, and with many messages 
of duty, and regards to the whole " hochadelige Familie," 
regrets that as their departure is fixed for the 29th or 
30th of this month, she shall not see me. I should 
have been pleased too, to have had a glimpse of her 
and her Princess, but I do not much care ; nothing 
is worth caring about in this world. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

14 Grosvenor Square, Wednesday, Nov. ^oth, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — ... I had a note last night 
from the Duchess of Sutherland, asking me to come 
and see her at once ; I am quite in a fidget, feeling as 
if the poor Maid of Honour was summoned by the 
Mistress of the Robes to be scolded for something. I 
shall tell you when I come back what it was. I sent 
Montalembert yesterday to Papa ; it is a good deal 
talked of. 

I have seen the Duchess, and I grieve to say the 
purport of her message was to tell me that Horatia 
Stopford and 1 were to be separated, and 1 was to be 
with Flora Macdonald in future ; I am very fond of 
Flora, but cannot help regretting my own dear little 

companion. ... 

/ 

Lord Derby's Ministry went out in June, after 
having been in office a little over a year ; Lord 
Granville being unable to form a Cabinet, the Queen 
was obliged to reinstate Lord Palmerston — rinevitable 
again — at the head of the Government. The struggle 
for Italian unity was now absorbing public attention 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 359 

abroad, and Louis Napoleon had incurred the dis- 
pleasure of England by annexing the provinces of 
Savoy and Nice as a price for his aid to Sardinia. 

The usual changes in the Household took place 
with the return of the Liberal Government, and the 
Duchess of Sutherland was once more Mistress of the 
Robes. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Friday, Dec. 2nd, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — We found large cards here in- 
viting us to the evening party at Frogmore, where 
the Queen and Royal party, and a few of the suite, 
were to dine ; so after a very select household dinner, 
we were conveyed by Lady Caroline Harrington (in 
her carriage) to Frogmore, where immediately on 
entering, the Duchess came up and spoke to us, and 
directly afterwards, the Queen, whom we had not 
previously seen, came up and kissed us, and asked 
how we were, and after Mama, and you, in her usual 
sweet little way. Princess Royal then came, and I 
quite agree with the general opinion that she is in 
remarkable beauty, as far as her face goes. 

I hear she is walked off her legs here, having 
during her year and a half in Germany got very much 
into the usual Continental fashion of never walking 
more than just a turn or two up and down the garden. 
She and her Prince start to-morrow at quarter before 
eight. . . . Princess Alice is the tallest of the three 
Royal ladies, but I like the looks of both Queen and 
Princess Royal better than hers, though she too is im- 



36o TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

proved. I hear that she drops little hints that look 
as if she knew something about her future prospects 
in Holland ; so I suppose there is really some kind 
of understanding between the families. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Sunday, Dec. ^tJi, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — The Prussians all went off 
yesterday morning, in great spirits. . . . The final part- 
ing of all took place in the saloon railway carriage at 
Paddington, so no one exactly saw it ; but the Princess 
was not crying at all as she crossed the platform from 
it to the carriage that was waiting to convey her to 
the Bricklayer's Arms, South-Eastern Station. The 
Queen never got out of the railway carriage, but came 
straight back again, and drove into Windsor Castle 
Quadrangle as the clock struck half-past nine, having 
been absent exactly an hour and twenty minutes. To 
the surprise of everybody, last night, instead of the 
expected Household dinner, our Royal mistress 
honoured us with her society. It struck us that perhaps 
she was afraid of the evening feeling dull, after such 
a spell of gaiety — and possibly she thought the Prince 
might, like other gentlemen, indulge in an after- 
dinner nap if they were alone. . . . She (the Queen), 
and Princess Alice and Lady C. Barrington are all 
working short stripes for the valances or some part 
of a set of curtains Princess Royal is working for her 
Berlin drawing-room ; it is a very easy, but rather 
pretty, Persian-looking pattern, traced in black, and 
filled up with yellow, blue, or red, in a regular figure, 
on very coarse canvas. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 361 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Here we are, safe at Osborne, 
after a very smooth passage. Yesterday was a very bad 
day, and we are all glad we did not cross. The whole 
household, high and low, was rather wickedly amused 
yesterday at the Queen's awful state of agitation about 
the crossing ; it is certainly rather amusing, when one 
contrasts it with the complete indifference with which 
our coming, in any weather, is regarded. Among 
other things, the Prince desired General Grey to 
telegraph down to Admiral Bowles (the Port Admiral) 
to beg his permission, in case of the weather being 
very bad, for the Queen and the Royal Family to rest 
at his house ; and in case of necessity, to sleep there. 
"And," added the Prince, "in case of such a thing 
happening, it would be as well if you were to " . . . 
here General Grey thought he was going to suggest 
some possible shelter being provided, if not for the 
whole household, at least for the ladies — but not at 
all — the sentence ended with " to send a cook down 1 " 
The General said he could hardly keep his countenance ; 
but he sent the cook as desired. 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mothery 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Thursday, Dec. Sth, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . All is going on very 
quietly here ; last night we had a household dinner, 
the first evening the Queen dined with us, and after 
dinner asked me to play, which I did, and then she 



362 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

got to talk over German and Scots and other national 
music, till the Prince slipped into the music chair, and 
she pulled out some music books, and they picked 
out songs and scraps of songs together till she was 
tired and removed to the round table, whither she 
soon summoned the Duchess to follow her. The 
Prince spent the rest of the evening at the piano, 
supported by Princess Alice and me — singing and 
playing all sorts of German " studenten-Lieder," and 
comic songs ; it was rather amusing, though the 
Duchess declared she did not feel it quite proper to 
hear him with the two young ladies, and was only 
reconciled to it by the reflection that one of them was 
his daughter. We are to have the Prince and Princess 
of Leiningen here to-day to stay till Saturday. . . . 
I must say, though not a great admirer of Osborne, 
that it looks deliciously bright and sunny and clear 
after Windsor, very mild too it feels, of course ; and 
on our table is a large bouquet of chrysanthemums, 
myrtle, dark blue veronicas, daphnes, and " Mal- 
maison " roses — all open air, of course. . . . 

Osborne, Monday, Dec. 12th, 1859. 

We did our Great Eastern very successfully on 
Saturday, and I am glad I have seen it, but I do not 
much admire it ; the only thing I thought very fine 
was looking down the whole length of the deck from the 
rudder-wheel platform ; that did strike me as grand from 
the enormous size of the deck and the distance the other 
end seemed from one. 

Osborne, Tuesday, Dec. i^th, 1859. 

. . . Last night the Q. and Prince, Princess 
Alice and I, played eight-handed duets, on two 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 363 

pianos — such a noise as we made — and such a mess 
of it too ! generally being all playing the same piece, 
indeed, but at two or three bars' interval. 

Osborne, Dec. 15th, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The launch on Tuesday 
was really a beautiful sight, but we had to wait some 
time, and it was bitterly cold on board the Fairyy from 
whenever we witnessed it. When the ship did come, 
however, she came without a check, and it really was 
very fine to see the splendid mass glide smoothly 
down into the sea, without a jerk or check of any 
sort. ... I believe . . . the Prince of Wales comes 
on Saturday ; he is to stay till over all the Christmas 
festivities before he returns to Oxford to resume his 
studies. . . . This is all our news ; we are very quiet 
but rather pleasant. . . . One day we played two 
rubbers at whist, when the Queen and I lost sixpence 
to the Prince and Duchess of Athole, that being 
two points, and each having won a rubber, but 
theirs was a bumper, which ours was not. . . . We 
were all amused the other day when the Queen, on 
being told by General Scarlett,^ in answer to her 
question as to what the defences of the Isle of Wight 
were, that there were none, exclaimed : " Really, now ! 
But the people should remember that / am here 1 " 

Osborne, Monday, Dec. igtk, 1859. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Such a fall of snow as there 
has been in the night ! Four or five inches, good, and 
all the gentlemen are helping Prince of Wales to make 
a snow-man on the lawn. I never saw anything 

* General the Hon. Sir James Yorke Scarlett, second son of first 
Baron Abinger, leader of the heavy cavalry charge at Balaclava, 1799- 
1871. 



364 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

more lovely than the trees loaded with snow . . . and 
the Prince of Wales was very keen yesterday for 
skating, but the Queen and Prince were nervous about 
it, as the pond is tolerably deep, and there is no 
" Humane " apparatus here, as on the Serpentine, to 
serve imprudent youths ! . . . Prince of Wales is im- 
proved in looks, I think ; grown more manly ; he is 
less like his father in voice and manner, but he 
will never be so good-looking. I fancy he is a little 
grown ; but perhaps it is only that he is spreading and 
filling the eye a little more ; he is certainly broader 
across the chest and shoulders than he was, and alto- 
gether less boyish in appearance, though his cheek is 
still as smooth as ever. In manner he is very pleasing, 
unaffected and straightforward, but a little shy ; he has 
not very much conversation as yet, but that will of 
course improve as he gets older. He is very like 
Princess Alice : I never saw a stronger likeness be- 
tween brother and sister ; but they are not alike in 
character at all ; he is retiring, shy, a little inclined to 
be overbearing, and rather obstinate ; but with a sweet, 
kind expression about his eyes ; — she, not apparently 
knowing what shyness means, very sweet-tempered, 
and not at all obstinate. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Wednesday, Dec. 21st, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — Here we are, safe at Windsor, 
having come off much better than we expected — indeed 
as well as possible — in the matter of passage and 
journey. . . . Oh ! the orders and counter-orders on 
these royal journeys ! Everything was arranged on 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 365 

Monday, to leave Osborne at 3 p.m., all the messages 
sent, and special trains and steamers ordered ; — when 
lo and behold, yesterday at six o'clock the royal minds 
are changed — hasty counter-messages are sent off in 
all directions, and we are told that the start is to be at 
a quarter-past ten this morning from Osborne Pier. 

Windsor, Friday, Dec. 23rd, 1859. 

I have never thanked you for the packets of cyphers 
. . . the new ones help to smarten my book, which 
has had an immense success, having first amused all 
the household, especially the gentlemen, at Osborne, 
and having, I believe, formed the whole occupation of 
the Royal Family, last night after dinner ; I need hardly 
add, after this, that you will find it very much increased, 
as everybody has contributed some few. Prince of 
Wales two of his own, with promise of two more for 
May's book, and the offer of collecting for me I which 
of course I gratefully accepted 1 

Windsor, Saturday, Dec. 24/A, 1859. 

... I got a thing yesterday from the Prince of 
Wales that I value very much, a little full-length 
photograph of himself : very like, but not flattering ; 
but I am thinking of setting up a photograph book on 
the strength ot it, and Princess Alice, which I got in 
the spring. . . . He promised them to Horatia^ and 
me in the evening, and accordingly, we had not been 
ten minutes in our rooms after the party broke up, 
when we heard the heavy tread and well-known single 
tap of the royal footman at our bedroom doors, and 
in walked the photographs, with Prince of Wales's 
compliments. But imagine my feelings when, meeting 

* Hon. Horatia Stopford, 



366 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Princess Alice out walking, and my cypher-book being 
the " topic," of course, she told me how she had, that 
morning, looked me out a whole envelope full, which, 
as she put it, " would just have made your book 
complete — two or three of dear Grandmama's, 
and Vicky's new one, and one of Alfred's, the only 
one I had of his, and the ' Euryalus ' device, and 
several others — and while we were at lunch the 
servants put it into the fire ! " Was it not too tanta- 
lising? However, I am to get some from her yet, 
her own, at any rate, and one or two others. 

Windsor, Wednesday, Dec. 28th, 1859. 

Dearest Papa, — Lady Macdonald is gone and 
Lady Ely has succeeded her ; the latter is looking 
very pretty and is very sweet and nice, as usual, but, 
as usual, overwhelmed with parcels, portraits, and tender 
messages from all the potentates all over Europe, for 
our Queen ; she has regularly been a tour of all the 
crowned heads in Europe this summer, and literally 
rushed from the arms of the Empress of Austria ^ at 
Vienna, into those of the Empress Eugenie at the 
Tuileries ; but all the news she brings is that the 
Empress Eugenie is looking very thin and delicate and 
the Emperor very well. The Due de Malakoff had 
been staying with her in London because the Duke 
and Dss. of Wellington, on a visit to whom he had 
been in Norfolk, said they had not a room to spare 
for him in Apsley House ! ! ! He was down here 
to lunch on Monday to present some Spanish fans 
to the Princess and was rather amusing. . . . 



1 Elizabeth, daughter of Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, 6. 1837; 
m. the Emperor of Austria, 1854; d. 1898. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 367 

Grosvenor Square, Thursday, Dec. 2gth, 1859. 

. , . Princess Alice yesterday found the envelope, 
and Prince of Wales and the Queen sent me a nice 
little lot too, so I am truly rich in royal cyphers. , . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father , 
Edwara Stanley 

Windsor, April 4/A {Wednesday), i860. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . Yesterday evening we had 
no strangers but the Princess of Leiningen, who is 
staying at Frogmore with the Duchess, and our Dean 
and Mrs. Wellesley ; and for once, I really think, if a 
real stranger had walked into the room at ten o'clock 
or thereabouts, they would have thought we looked 
very comfortable, the Queen and all the ladies working 
at the round table, and talking between whiles, four 
of the gentlemen at whist in one corner, and the Prince, 
his two sons, and Sir Harry KeppeP (who has just 
arrived for his last waiting before he sails for the 
Cape) at another whist-table, planted, however, in a 
more prominent position, in fact, exactly in the middle 
of the room ; the Dean, Lord Caithness, and Captain 
Grey sat or stood about as they pleased. I am sorry 
to say Prince Hohenlohe (the father of Victor) is very 
ill . . . he is the Queen's brother-in-law. . . . What- 
ever happens, it will make no difference about the 
Confirmation to-morrow, for, being only a religious 
solemnity, it need not be put off on account of bad 
news, and as the Queen objects to black, we need not 
trouble ourselves about getting together our mourning 

1 Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, Groom in Waiting, 1809- 
1904. 



368 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

on the chance. Prince Alfred is certainly a very nice 
little fellow, and good-looking ; but so small ! and 
such a pickle ! evidently just as full of mischief as an 
egg is of meat ; and I hear the navy are by this time 
perfectly aware of the fact. 

Windsor, Thursday, April 5th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — The Confirmation took place this 
morning, and was, I thought, an impressive, interest- 
ing ceremony. Prince Alfred came in first, handing 
in his mother, or rather walking by her ; then followed 
the Prince Consort and all the rest of the Royal 
Family — all but Prince Leopold and Princess Beatrice. 
The Archbishop spoke out, if not very intelligibly, 
yet certainly more so than usual ; the only part that 
looked rather awful, was that, during his closing address, 
which was a very long one. Prince Alfred stood alone 
in the middle of the Chapel, just in front of the altar 
rails ; and though he is not by nature inclined to be shy, 
he looked a little nervous, and the tears were running 
down his cheeks by the time the Archbishop stopped. 
I did not much like the address, though I suppose 
the Archbishop had taken great pains with it, and 
there was a great deal about St. Paul's voyages, and 
Jonah, and being buffeted by the winds and the 
waves, by way, I presume, of being appropriate to the 
young Middy. I like the said Middy all the better, 
by the by, for being a little touched by the solemnity, 
and also for being (after having declared that he was 
not the least afraid, and could not understand why 
everybody else seemed afraid for him), when the time 
really came, very nervous indeed at his examination 
yesterday afternoon. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 369 

Windsor, Easter Sunday, April 8th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . The Oratorio last night 
was very fine, and very short ; ... it was in St. 
George's Hall ; we dined, without the Queen, at 
half-past seven, and at nine punctually, she and the 
Prince, and all the children except Princess Beatrice, 
joined us and we went in, through the armoury. Little 
Prince Leopold, as the hero of the day (it was his 
birthday, seven years old) stayed on to the end without 
any signs of sleepiness, but this morning he was so 
tired and sleepy that he was not able to come to 
Church, which at his own urgent request he was to 
have been allowed to do, a year earlier than any of 
the others have ever come. . . . Prince Hohenlohe is 
getting over this attack, I am happy to say. 

Windsor, Thursday, April 12th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — . . . How cold it is ! I hear 
the Queen finds it piercing at Aldershot, but does 
not come back till to-morrow. . . . Lady Caroline 
and Princess Helena went off to dine at Fropf- 
more, Princess Helena's first time of dining late, 
so it was a great event, and I hear she enjoyed it 
much. Sir Harry Keppel is gone, very sorry for 
himself ... he is in despair at leaving the Court, 
and not over and above pleased with the Admiralty 
for sending him to the Cape, and above all, for packing 
him off in such a hurry, without even giving him 
time to finish his waiting. 

Windsor, Tuesday, April 17th, i860. 
Dearest Papa, — . . . Tell Mama the first Draw- 
ing-room is certainly to be in mourning, but I suppose 



370 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

the presentations at least will mostly be in white. 
We all think it will make it a dreadfully select Draw- 
ing-room. We are to be in black crape and silk, 
black gloves, flowers, feathers, lappets, and fans ; but 
of course the world in general will only be in the 
slighter Court mourning which is to be ordered in 
to-morrow's Gazette. We have just been introduced 
to Lord Harrisji who came into waiting to-day. . . . 
I hear our entry into London on Thursday is to be 
the very reverse of triumphal ; indeed the expression 
was that we were to sneak up by the S. Western, as 
that does not take us through any crowded parts, and 
then sneak home to the Palace without escorts or 
guard of honour or great Officers of State to receive 
us, or anything — all on account of our grief for poor 
Prince Hohenlohe. The Queen has not dined with 
us since she came back from Aldershot on Friday last, 
and will not join the party at dinner till after the 
funeral, which is to be on Friday, but she is in very 
comfortable spirits, and bears her bereavement with 
fortitude. 

Osborne, July i^th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — Mama wants some news, but 
please tell her with my love that Osborne is a very 
quiet place and the only news we get here is imported, 
like the prawns (according to Col. Biddulph), from 
London. Lord Clarendon is here, but any news he 
may have is strictly reserved for Royal ears and, 
though he is amusing enough to us all, it is merely 
from making fun of everything. We went ashore 
with the Prince during our cruise yesterday afternoon 
to see Netley Hospital, which he highly approved of 
and has promised to stand up for if it is attacked in 

* George, third Baron Harris, Groom in Waiting, 1810-1872. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 371 

Parliament, which is not unlikely, as Miss Nightingale 
has written regarding situation and ventilation. 

. . . We, meanwhile, regaled ourselves with tea, 
presided over by the Queen, on the deck of the Fairy ; 
our tablecloth well lashed to the legs of the table, but 
otherwise our fine silver teapots and all our grandeur 
just as if we were at home. Princess Beatrice had her 
little supper with us all, and between whiles enlivened 
us with little pieces of poetry, "Twinkle, twinkle," 
" Little Miss Muffet," " Humpty Dumpty," and 
several others, speaking remarkably plainly and nicely, 
but showing a considerable degree of character in her 
choice of the poems and her claiming of the rewards 
(biscuits) for repeating them. She is a most amusing 
little dot, all the more so for being generally a little 
naughty. . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, /«/y 18/A, i860. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . We have just been staring 
for an hour and a half through smoky glasses at the 
Eclipse, which I must say we saw beautifully. . . . We 
looked a little out of the window before lunch . . . 
then ate our lunch . . . then at about half-past two 
we came out, and were presently joined by the whole 
Royal party, from the Queen down to Princess 
Beatrice, and remained there all together, till the greater 
part of the sun was uncovered. A splendid telescope, 
six and a quarter inches across the lens, has been put 
up on the Lower Terrace, and it really was beautiful 
to see through it the spots on the sun, and the hills on 
the moon, and the shape which the moon's shadow 



372 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

made the sun assume ; at one moment really only a 
small crescent remained of him, and the light grew 
very queer and dull. . . . 

Osborne, /m/)/ 2oiA, i860. 
Dearest Mama, — . . . We had a very rough, cold 
and blowy, but otherwise rather interesting trip yester- 
day morning, to the Fay, McClintock's vessel, in 
which he went to the Arctic regions in search of relics of 
Franklin. She is now going, under Captain Young 
(McClintock's second in command), to take soundings 
for the last projected line of submarine telegraph, with 
four breaks in it, viz. : at the Faroe Islands, Iceland, 
Greenland, and Labrador, so that, should any accident 
happen to one part of the cable, they may be able to 
set it right without the tremendous trouble and ex- 
pense the whole cable would be. . . , 

Osborne, July 22nd, i860. 

. . . We have got Lord Granville ^ here . . . and last 
night, after the Queen had retired and we had all gone 
to our rooms, the Prince Consort went to Lord Gran- 
ville's, and I heard them there, talking and laughing 
(I know the Prince's loud peals of laughter well) till 
near twelve. . . . There were no Royal orders for us 
yesterday afternoon, so Lady Caledon and I (by the 
Queen's express permission) ordered a pony-landau, 
and drove to Newport, for Lord Caledon to inspect the 
church there, which is recently rebuilt, and very hand- 
some, and the pretty little monument (a reclining 
marble statue, with its head resting on the Bible, as 
she was found, dead) of Princess Elizabeth, daughter 

^ Granville, second Earl Granville, Lord President of the Council, 
1815-1891. 



^ 







) 




S 



•ST 



• CO 

^ 3 
^ o 

*> C 

•S «5 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 373 

of Charles I., who died at Carisbrooke Castle, and is 
buried there. The Queen put up the monument, and 
the statue is by Marochetti. . . . 

Osborne, Monday, July 2ird, i860. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Lord Granville is perfectly 
himself again, in very good spirits, but grown decidedly 
fat and deaf ; he is going to Spain with two or three 
other gentlemen, directly after Parliament is prorogued, 
which he hopes may be by the 20th of August. . . , 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 

Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Sunday, Nov. ^th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — We are quite alone, all our 
visitors having left us yesterday, and are beginning 
to be very impatient for the arrival of the Prince of 
Wales ; but as those war steamers never carry more 
coal than what can, by great economy, be made to last 
out ten days, and as the wind has been mostly easterly 
the last fortnight, nobody is surprised at his not yet 
being heard of. 

Windsor, Tuesday, Nov. 6th, i860. 

No news of either of our Princes yet ! and we are 
getting quite low, and begin to think Prince of Wales 
will not be here for his birthday — and then what will 
become of the feu-de-joie and the Victoria Cross 
dispensing with which it was to be celebrated ? . . . 
What good news from China ! I hear General 
Montauban resisted very much when Sir H. Grant* 

* General Sir James Hope Grant, 1 808-1 875. 



374 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

proposed to attack, but on the latter saying, " Then 
he would attack alone," General M. shrugged his 
shoulders, and said that, of course then, he had no 
choice but must go too. And of course also the 
French letters and papers say they got in first, which 
is false. , . . 

Windsor, Thursday, Nov. 8th, i860. 

. . . The Queen and Prince are most amusingly 
disgusted at neither of their boys arriving — just, they 
say, when they had kept this week clear of all engage- 
ments to be free to devote themselves to them ! It is 
most inconvenient, and highly reprehensible conduct 
on the part of the winds and waves. 



Windsor, Nov. xoth, i860. 

We have got one of our young Princes back, but 
alas ! the wrong one ; however, he is better than 
none, and looks very brown and well, but not much 
grown. . . . We had a great many military sights 
yesterday, for, besides the Parade in the morning, 
there was the Victoria Cross distribution, when we 
saw our old friend Major Fraser invested ; he got it 
for saving the life of a Captain Stisted by swimming 
after him under a heavy fire, and bringing him ashore, 
somewhere in Scinde or the Punjaub. . . . 

Windsor, Nov. i^th, i860. 

. . . The wind, though still in the East, is de- 
cidedly out of the North, thereby giving some faint 
hopes that Prince of Wales may at length make a 
little way. I do not think anybody is really seriously 
alarmed about him, but we are all beginning to feel 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 375 

that we shall be very glad when he is really signalled 
from the shore. 



Windsor, Nov. i6ih, i860. 

We have got our Prince of Wales home, looking 
thin and very brown with the long voyage, but very 
nice, and decidedly grown, and all his gentlemen say 
there never was anything so perfect as his conduct 
from first to last. We got a cordial shake of the 
hand from the Prince last night, but not much conver- 
sation of course with himself ; all the suite, however, 
were extremely talkative, the Duke of Newcastle quite 
jolly on the occasion, and we have been entertained 
with perpetual pictures of American life and manners 
ever since their arrival. The whole party stay here till 
Saturday ; and the Prince himself till the beginning 
of next week — I do not know which day, but he is to 
go to Oxford soon. 

Lord St. Germains ^ is a first-rate sailor, and never 
even felt uncomfortable on board, though they had 
some very rough weather coming home. They did not 
quite come down to salt junk, but their fresh meat 
was done, their preserved meat nearly so, and they 
drank the last of their beer, porter, ale, soda water, 
claret and champagne several days ago : they had still 
a little port and sherry left ; on Wednesday evening 
they put their last ounce of tea into the pot ; and on 
Thursday (yesterday) made their last cup of coffee — 
they had timed that very neatly for their arrival. 
Altogether, their sufferings do not seem to have been 
intense. . . . The Empress of Austria is very ill, I am 

* Edward, third Earl of St. Germans, Lord Steward of the House- 
hold, 1798-1877. 



376 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

afraid ; she has refused to see the King of the 
Belgians on her passage through his country, on the 
plea that she is not allowed to speak. She is to 
go to Madeira in the V. and Albert after all, which 
we are glad of. . . . 

Windsor, Tuesday, Nov. 20th, i860. 

. . . This is the birthday of Princess of Leiningen, 
and we were told that we might, if we liked, make our 
mourning a little slighter in consequence ; this seemed 
such a very confused message that I have just been 
asking Miss Skerrett about it, and she said she would 
find out, but that the Queen was in black herself this 
morning, and she was pretty sure H.M. meant to wear 
black this evening again. We have just got the order, 
which is, to wear white gloves, white or lilac flowers, 
coloured jewellery, and black silk or lace. Really 
these niceties are too plaguy ! To-morrow we go 
into white or grey — for Princess Royal's birthday 
— and the next day plunge back into the depths 
of sorrow. . . • 

Windsor, Nov. 22nd, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — Here we are again, plunged into 
the profoundest black, which feels quite strange after 
the unmitigated whiteness of last night. But oh ! the 
dullness of the evening ! — all of us standing against the 
wall all round the room, not a sound to be heard, as 
our faint whispers, barely intelligible to the person 
next us, were utterly inaudible a yard off. Little 
Princess Beatrice was the only enlivening thing of the 
whole party ; her little childish voice and pattering feet 
round the dinner table were quite refreshing ; and 
after lunch, too, she came out and said, " Twinkle 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 377 

twinkle," and all the little usual nursery rhymes rather 
duckishly. . . , 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother, 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Windsor, Saturday, Nov. 24/A, i860. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . The Empress of Austria 
is well on her way to Madeira now ; I hear she is weak 
and delicate, and has tubercles on her lungs — but, as 
usual with that complaint, never suffers from sea- 
sickness. . . . 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Sister, 
Lady Cremorne 

Windsor, Nov. 24th, i860. 

My darling Sis, — ... I have been writing to 
all the fine ladies in London, for theirs or their 
husband's photographs, for the Queen ; . . . I believe 
Miss Skerrett is right when she says " she (the Queen) 
could be bought, and sold for a Photograph 1" . . . 
Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern * is expected here too, 
on his way to Portugal, where it is said he is going, 
to marry one of the sisters of the young King, whose 
brother-in-law he is. Besides the two Princes, we are 
to have Count Lavradio, and Captain Tarleton of the 
Euryalus, to-day ; and on Monday the BernsdorfFs,^ 
Lord Clyde,^ and some others. , . . 

* Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, eldest son of Prince Charies of 
Hohenzollern, m. DoQa Antonia, second daughter of Queen Maria da 
Gloria and Dom Ferdinand I. 

■ Arthur, Count von BernsdorflF, bom 1808. 

• Field-Marshal Sir Colin Campbell, created Lord Clyde, com- 
mander of the forces during the Indian Mutiny, 1 792-1863. 



378 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 

Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Monday, Nov. 26th, i860. 

Dearest Papa, — Hesse came on Saturday, and, as 
far as we can see. Princess Alice's little affair is going 
on very swimmingly ; she looks quite happy by his 
side, and really shy and blushing and nice ; and the 
Royal party take long walks, Alice and " Louis " 
walking side by side in the most correct fashion — not 
always though, for when the Duchess of Athole and 
I met them on Saturday afternoon out walking, they 
were in the following order ; first the Queen between 
her two eldest (unmarried) daughters — then an inter- 
val of six or eight yards — then the Prince Consort, 
between Hesse and Hohenzollern. But I am credibly 
informed that this was only a momentary chance or 
accident — and as a proof that the walks are pleasant, 
and also as an instance of how circumstances may alter 
one's view of things, I may mention that yesterday 
afternoon — you know what a horrid rainy cold day it 
turned out — well, yesterday afternoon, on Princess 
Helena remarking to Princess Alice, in full innocence 
and confidence of being agreed with, that she hoped 
"dear Mama" would not make them go out again, 
it was such a dreadful day. Princess Alice retorted 
quite sharply that she could not see that at all — for 
her part, she thought it was rather a fine day for a 
walk, and she hoped they would take a good long 
one ! sous-entendu, of course, with " Louis ! " ^ 

I have had the luck of sitting by both our young 
Princes, one yesterday and the other on Saturday ; 
they are really too nice ; Prince of Wales everything 

* Louis XIV, Grand Duke of Hesse, 1 837-1 892. 



LAST YEARS OF WAITING 379 

one could wish in manner and appearance except being 
rather too short ; and Prince Alfred the greatest 
darling I ever saw, quite a boy still and full of fun 
and mischief, but very agreeable, and with more con- 
versation than his elder brother. I ascertained, how- 
ever, from the latter that he has decided opinions on 
many points of female dress ; for instance he likes 
wreaths of flowers, and dislikes the present fashion 
of high Norma bands of velvet, unless they are 
covered with diamonds, in which case he thinks them 
admissible. 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Sistery 
Lady Cremorne 

Windsor, Nov. 28th, i85o. 

My darling Sis, — Princess Alice and her Louis 
seem getting on very swimmingly ; she looked awfully 
shy and blushing the first day or two, but seems much 
less so now and very happy. . . . He is not handsome, 
. . . still, he looks honest and good, and I think on the 
whole, the Queen and Prince were right in deciding 
for her. . . . The Empress Eugenie seems to have 
been larking at a fine rate at Blair and Dunkeld, in 
the charge of the Duke of Athole ; I never laughed 
so much in my life as I did over a letter of six sheets 
he wrote to his Duchess, describing the whole thing, 
and adding that he had been nine consecutive hours in 
her society (fourth in her carriage) ; she had talked 
incessantly ; she was both too charming and too lovely, 
and he would never believe any stories he heard 
against her again ! On Sunday last he took her and 
her two ladies to the Presbyterian Service at Dunkeld, 
and they greatly enjoyed it. 



CHAPTER XIX 

DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 

Illness of the Duchess of Kent — Her death — Prince Leopold goes 
abroad — Prince Arthur plays cricket — Duchess of Kent's mau- 
soleum — Death of the Prince Consort — Account of his last illness 
— Agony of the Queen — The Prince of Wales and his mother — 
Letter from Miss Skerrett — Letter from the Duchess of Wellington 
— Miss Stanley goes to Osborne to take leave — Interview with 
Princess Alice — with the Queen — Prince Consort's dressing-room 
— Arrival of the Crown Princess of Prussia — Letter from Lady 
Churchill — Letter from Lady Verulam — Letter from Lady Caroline 
Barrington — Miss Stanley's marriage — Her death. 

The Hon, Eleanor Stanley to her Father^ 
Edward Stanley 

Osborne, Sunday, March ^rd, 1861. 

Dearest Papa, — ... I am afraid the Duchess 
of Kent is very ill — I mean that the complaint is in- 
creasing ; she is not in imminent danger, but I see 
all the people here think her state much more critical 
— except the Queen, who, they say, does not know 
what is the matter with her ; but this I can hardly 
believe, seeing it is matter of public notoriety, and 
the elder Princesses all know it. . . . Yesterday was 
such a day of wind and rain that none of us got out, 
though we saw the Queen and Prince struggling 
against the gale under umbrellas and waterproofs. 
The Princesses were less brave, and went only in a 
shut carriage to amuse themselves at the Swiss Cottage 
in the grounds. In the evening we had music — that 
is, I played, and the Queen turned over the pages, 

the Prince praised, and Princess Alice criticised me ; 

380 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 381 

after which we ladies adjourned to the Queen's round 
table and worked till eleven, while the Prince and 
some of the gentlemen played at billiards, and the 
rest at whist. . • • 



The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Mother^ 
Lady Mary Stanley 

Osborne, Tuesday, March ^th, 1861. 

Dearest Mama, — . . . Fancy, that Lord Llanover ^ 
told the Queen that Mrs. Delany's Life^ was to 
consist, in all, of nine {nine /) volumes, of which (as 
we know) only three were yet published ! Do you 
think anybody will ever be able to wade through 
that ? People in general seem to like Mrs. Piozzi ; ^ 
and at least she is a good deal shorter, two moderate- 
sized volumes instead of nine huge 8vos is indeed a 
difference ! . . . I rather envy you meeting Mr. 
Loch ; I should like to see him and hear his accounts 
of the Chinese war and his own captivity. We are 
all rather amused at poor Sir Baldwin Walker * being 
recalled, after his flattering himself he had fairly started 
(and but for these gales he would have been well on 
his way to the Cape by this time), to give evidence as 
to the state of the Navy before this Committee. But, 
on the whole, as he ought, from his long experience, 
to be the best informed man in England on that 
subject, or rather, on the management of the Board 
of Admiralty, which is the more immediate subject 

* Benjamin Hall, Lord Llanover, 1802-1867. 

' Mrs. Delany's Autobiography and Correspondence was published 
in six volumes in 1861-2. 

* Mrs. Piozzi Thrale's Autobiography was reprinted in 1861. 

* Sir Baldwin Walker, Surveyor-General of the Navy, bom 1803. 



382 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

of inquiry, I am rather glad that he should be 
examined. 



Osborne, Thursday, March 7th, 1861. 

Dearest Mama, — Our journey still stands for to- 
morrow afternoon. . . . Yesterday we really had a 
tremendous gale — in spite of which the Prince and his 
gentlemen went across to view the ruins of Chichester 
Cathedral, and they declare they had a remarkably 
quick and smooth passage. We were sure beforehand 
that they would say so, because we are to go to-morrow, 
and it would take from the poor little Queen all excuse 
for postponing her journey on account of the weather, 
supposing it to blow again to-morrow — but we do not 
implicitly believe them. We have of course heard 
nothing about the Mistress of the Robes, nor would it 
be decent to talk of a new one before, at least, the 
Duke of Sutherland ^ is buried ; but the household bets 
are upon the Duchess of Roxburghe ; ^ and really I 
think we might go farther and fare worse ; she is a good, 
kind woman, very civil and gracious to everybody, 
very pretty, and perfectly unexceptionable in char- 
acter. . . • 

Buckingham Palace, Saturday, March i6th, 1861. 

Dearest Mama, — The poor Duchess is very ill — 
no hope, I fancy, whatever of her rallying. The way 
it happened was that yesterday, about the middle of 
the day, she was seized with a shivering fit, and then a 
fainting fit, which lasted about an hour ; and when they 

^ George, second Duke of Sutherland, born 1786, died 22nd Feb- 
ruary 1 86 1. 

* Susanna, only child of Lt.-General Sir Charles Dalbiac, m. James, 
sixth Duke of Roxburghe, 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 383 

did bring her round, she seemed hardly sensible. Sir 
James Clark, who was there, came up at once from 
Frogmore, and arrived here at B. Palace at half-past 
four, or soon after ; the Queen and Prince were both 
together at the South Kensington Horticultural 
Gardens ; the first that came in was the Queen, at 
about half-past five, with General Grey and Lady Ely ; 
the latter of course went straight down to Princes Gate, 
but Sir J. at once told the General, who instantly sent 
to Paddington to order a special train to be in readi- 
ness, and to the Prince, saying, by Sir James's orders, 
that H.R.H. had better come home at once. He 
arrived before six ; told the Queen, which nobody had 
ventured to do in his absence — then Princess Alice, 
Princess Helena ; they all cried dreadfully, as was 
natural, and Princess Alice prepared at once to go 
down to Windsor with the Q. and P., to the poor 
Duchess ; they got away by seven, leaving orders for 
their maids and things, and Lady Ely to follow by the 
next train. General Grey, Col. Hardinge, Sir J. Clark, 
and Col. Biddulph went with the Royal party — we 
stayed, anxiously listening for every footstep and 
wondering what would happen ; but nothing did, and 
when I came back from my after-dinner visit to Augusta 
last night, I heard that there had been a telegram to 
say the Duchess was just the same, and the Queen was 
to sleep at Frogmore — that, we suppose, meaning that 
she was not to leave her mother. This morning early 
a telegram came ordering " the Royal children down to 
Windsor to stay — the Duchess getting weaker — 
Princess Helena may yet be in time to see her" — 
evidently a matter of minutes — and quite hopeless. 

There has just (quarter to eleven) come a message 
from downstairs with a report that all is over. I do 



384 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

not know whether it is true — but believe it — and it is 
best so, doubtless. Poor little Queen ! I am glad 
she was spared the agony of hearing at the door on 
her arrival last night that she was too late ! It is her 
first real sorrow, and I am sure she feels it much. 

Windsor, Thursday, October 24th, 1861. 

Dearest Mama, — The Queen arrived all safe at 
half-past eight this morning, having come south by- 
Great Northern to London, and then worked round 
London by the new lines there are, to the South 
Western, and so to Windsor, without having to 
change carriages. She said she was not at all tired, 
but the Princesses were all complaining sadly of 
fatigue and saying they had none of them slept at all ; 
to which lamentations I am told the Queen sternly 
rejoined that if people made up their minds that they 
could not sleep, of course they would not, and in- 
stantly sent them out for a walk, first, however, 
allowing them to swallow a little breakfast. Prince 
Leopold and the Bowaters start for Cannes in about 
ten days or a fortnight, the party consisting of Sir 
Edward, Lady and Miss Bowater, Prince Leopold, 
and a Doctor and tutor all in one, a German, Dr. 
Gunther, who was at one time with Lord John 
Russell's boys, and much liked there ; and they have 
got a house there for the winter, next Lord Brougham's 
villa, very small, but just large enough to hold them, 
and a shed is building for the servants — how pleasant 
for these last ! 

They say the Queen stays here till the first week 
in December, and then goes to Osborne for a month 
or more, to the intense disgust of those whose waiting 
comes then, of whom, fortunately, I am not one. A 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 385 

great deal has been done here since last year in the 
way of improvement ; a new guard room has been 
built, and two rooms added to Col. Biddulph's house 
in the Cloisters ; the passages have been lighted by 
skylights all through the Castle, a few more bells 
hung, &c. &c. ; and this morning Mary Biddulph and 
I were amused at watching, from her window, the 
Prince and her Colonel wandering about with their 
heads in the air, looking out for all the new bits. . . . 

Windsor, Friday, October 25th, 1861. 

... I believe the Palmerstons are coming on 
Monday on a visit ; and on Friday (the day after our 
departure, alas !) the investiture of the Star of India 
is to take place. . . . 

Windsor, Saturday, October 26th, 1861. 

Dearest Mama, — We walked down to Windsor 
Fair yesterday, a large party of the Household ; Lady 
Ely, Flora and me, Ch. Fitzroy, Lord Harris and 
Col. Ponsonby ; ^ the society was well enough, but I 
thought the amusements of the Fair terribly flat, and 
rejoiced greatly when we ended with a walk round by 
Eton and the playing fields, where we saw four 
companies of Eton volunteers getting drilled at 
one side, and a large party of boys playing at football 
on the other. I hear Prince Arthur is allowed to go 
down and play at football with some of the Etonians, 
and delights in it ; it is rather a good thing for him, 
to learn to make acquaintance and join in play with 
other boys. 

* Col. Ponsonby, afterwards Right Hon. Sir Henry Ponsonby, 
grandson of third Earl of Bessborough, Private Secretary to Queen 
Victoria, 1 825-1 895. 

2B 



386 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

The Hon. Eleanor Stanley to her Father, 
Edward Stanley 

Windsor, Sunday, October 2'jth, 1861. 

Dearest Papa, — We havejust been walking down 
to the Frogmore gardens, visiting the poor Duchess 
of Kent's Mausoleum on our way, and they really 
have made a very handsome thing of it : a kind of 
vault below, in which is the sarcophagus, and a round 
temple above, which is to contain her statue, but it is 
not finished yet, nor is the statue. . . . The Consort 
was intensely disgusted (last night) at Fate being so 
adverse that in spite of his and Lady Ely's superior 
(! ! !) play, they lost fifteen pence to the Queen and 
Lord Harris, who, it seems, had trumped each other's 
aces, and committed every kind of atrocity of that 
description. 

... It is very odd about the Garters ; Lord Pal- 
merston is coming here to-morrow, but we have no 
reason to suppose that it is to settle about them. 
Fancy that he said the other day to the Queen and 
Prince, as they were discussing some matter of busi- 
ness, something that was to take place sixteen years 
hence (annuities falling in, or something) " that in the 
present state of parties it was impossible to reckon with 
certainty on his still being in office sixteen years 
hence I " Is is not almost too good to be true ? But 
the Queen told us herself this morning, as we came 
upon her by chance in the audience room, which has 
just been newly and beautifully fitted up, with oil 
portraits and miniatures of the royal family, old and 
new, and which the Prince showed us. . . . 

In another letter this story is repeated with an 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 387 

addition : " * Pretty well, do not you think, for a man 
of seventy-nine ? ' the Prince declared ; but the Queen 
set him right : * Oh 1 no, dearest, only seventy- 
seven ! ' " 

When Eleanor Stanley left Osborne on the last 
day of October, 1861, she had probably no presenti- 
ment that a dark cloud was hanging over her beloved 
Queen's head, or that she would never again see the 
Prince Consort in this life. And yet his health must 
have been failing all the autumn, although the Queen, 
with all the optimism of one endowed with a splendid 
physique, seemed the last to be conscious of the 
change. Over-work, want of sleep, nervous pros- 
tration, low fever, the Prince suffered all these evils 
uncomplainingly ; thinking always of others, his last 
public act was one that saved a war between England 
and America. On December 14, 1861, he succumbed 
to gastric fever. 

Miss Stanley was not in waiting at the time, 
but she wrote down the following account of the last 
sad scene from the accounts given her by eye-witnesses. 

" The children all saw him, passing by his bed-side 
and kissing his hand, between eight and nine o'clock, 
after which they were dismissed, all but Princess Alice 
and Prince of Wales. Princess Alice remained there 
to the last. The Prince was not in a stupor — he 
spoke at 7 p.m., saying to General Grey, who was 
giving him a draught, * Your good health ! ' but 
he was not himself, and is not thought to have known 



388 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

any of the children when they took leave of him — nor 
Prince of Wales at any time that day, after his arrival 
from Madingley. The three ladies, Duchess of 
Athole, Horatia Stopford, and Miss V. Wortley ^ were 
sitting in the ladies' room upstairs on the Saturday 
evening, anxiously wondering what was going on, 
none of them, not even the Duchess, having seen the 
Queen since the Friday morning. They had sat up 
the greater part of Friday night, uncertain what might 
not happen, and at last only lay down on their beds. 

** On the Saturday at eleven, the Duchess said to 
the others : *I will just run down and see if I can 
hear anything of him before we go to bed (or to 
our rooms).' She went out, and in two minutes 
returned as white as a sheet, and just said : ' He's 
dead,' and added that she had met a footman coming, 
apparently to let the ladies know it — and the words 
were hardly out of her mouth when another footman 
came running to say, * The Queen wishes Your Grace 
to come down directly to Her Majesty.* She went, 
and met the Queen at the door of the Prince's room 
(in which were also Princess Alice, P. of Wales and 
some of the gentlemen, and, I think. Lady A. Bruce), 
and turning back and throwing herself with both her 
arms extended on the corpse as it lay, not above ten 
minutes dead, on the bed, she almost screamed * Oh ! 
Duchess ! he is dead 1 he is dead ! Oh ! Albert ! ' 



* Victoria, daughter of the Hon, Charles Stuart Wortley, second 
son of the first Baron Wharncliffe, Maid of Honour to Queen Victoria. 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 389 

and gave way to a fearful but short paroxysm of 
agony — for before she dismissed the Duchess (who 
does not think she was in the room much more than 
quarter of an hour), she was calmer, and spoke, with 
tears and sorrow, but quite composedly, of some of 
the details of his illness, and of her own desolation. 
After this (the ladies heard the next day), the Queen 
remained nearly two hours in the room, unwilling to 
leave the body, but was at last persuaded to go, when 
she went first to the nursery (calling along the passage 
from the Prince's room as she went, * Oh ! Albert, 
Albert 1 are you gone I ') and then down to the room, 
not her usual bedroom, in which she had been sleeping 
since the Prince's illness became serious. After this, 
I believe, occurred the little scene of the Prince ot 
Wales kneeling by her and promising to be a good 
son. At last she was laid in her bed, and had even 
the first night, two hours of good sound sleep — worn 
out, I suppose, with tears and anxiety. . . .'* 

Miss Skerrett to the Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

My dear Miss Stanley, — I have just got your 
letter by the twelve o'clock post, and will, if I can, 
answer it by messenger time ; if we had not been 
countermanded for a day we should all have been off 
to Osborne this morning, and I am glad to be able 
to answer your letter before we go. 1 am busy cer- 
tainly to a certain extent, but nothing at all to prevent 
my writing any letters or doing anything that I want 
to do. The Queen is wonderfully well, I mean, of 



390 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

course, considering the case ; she has seen a great 
many people, and has in no ways shown a disposition 
to entirely seclude herself, nor has she given way to 
more grief than the cause of it is great ; her loss is 
not to be repaired to her, nor to the children. I am 
extremely glad that the Prince of Wales had not set 
off on his intended journey to the East ; they sent 
for him not quite two days before the Prince died. 
I am also glad to say that he has acted very well and 
properly, and that the Queen seems to take pleasure 
in having him with her. I do not think she was totally 
unprepared, for though the papers and the Bulletins 
certainly did not give any idea of the true state of the 
case, yet she and those in the House knew pretty well 
what was to be feared at least. The fever was what 
is called an internal fever, very like a gastric fever, 
but not quite one ; he did not, however, die of that 
actually, for congestion of the lungs came on for two 
days before he died, and the difficulty of breathing 
was very great. Sometimes they got his pulse up so 
as to make them hope he might be able to live long 
enough to give the lungs a chance of recovering them- 
selves, but on Saturday afternoon the pulse sank and 
could not be got up again, and at eleven he died. I 
do not think he suffered very intensely during his 
illness, but he was at the very beginning of it extremely 
depressed, as he always was on slight occasions even ; 
some men are so, indeed a good many. His mind 
was not always clear, but he never said or did anything 
to make people sure that he was not in possession 
of it. We are going to Osborne, as I said, either 
to-morrow or next day, I hope ; there is but that ioT 
the Queen, that she will take to a little real business ; 
there is nothing for a case like hers but to be really 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 391 

and truly employed, not in all the small kind of things 
on which so much time is spent, but I am afraid she 
will try to combine the two. There is nothing so 
incomprehensible to a human mind as another human 
mind, the impossibility of forming a just judgment of 
what is in it and what it really feels, and how it con- 
siders itself and aggravates its loss ; like the man in 
the play I can only say, " Verstand steht stille I " the 
world and what is in it are all made to go on, and 
they will one way or the other, but the idea of 
entering into another human mind is the vainest of all 
things. 

The funeral is on Monday ; the Duke of Coburg 
was to have been here soon, but he is ill, I hear, and 
will not be able to come so soon ; the Princess 
Hohenlohe is coming and so is the King of the 
Belgians ; the Prince and Princess of Leiningen are 
here ; the Duchesses of Sutherland and Wellington have 
been here some three days and I believe stay till we 
go ; the maids of Honour do not go, but the Duchess 
of Athole does and so does Lady Augusta Bruce. 
Miss Phipps has been invited ; I thought that she 
could not leave Lady Phipps for an hour, and now she 
is going for a month, I think. For so long at least I 
am told we are to stay there. I conclude that the next 
move will be to London, as I should think the Ministers 
cannot be up and down to Osborne when there is a 
house, but every hour proves how little one can calculate 
on anything. Yesterday everything was packing, vans 
loading, and almost everything got downstairs, when at 
seven o'clock an order came to stop as the Queen had 
resolved not to go till the next day ; that is the reason 
why I am writing to you on improper paper — if in 
real misfortunes there can be really a choice I But all 



392 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

my proper paper was packed up yesterday and I have 
used every bit ; I must mention this because there is 
an affectation, you know, in neglecting what is conven- 
tional as well as clinging to it. 

The Queen is now out, I think, and 1 hope will 
continue to do so ; she cannot be shut up for ever, and 
those are right and proper things to do. I will, if you 
please, write to you again in a few days after we get to 
Osborne and tell you how matters proceed. Believe 
me, my dear Miss Stanley, your affectionate servant, 

Marianne Skerrett. 

By the by, when one gets a little into old ways I 
shall tell the Queen that you wrote, but at present you 
know one keeps all that out of the way. 



The Duchess of Wellington to the 
Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

Apsley House, December 26th, 1861. 

Dearest Eleanor, — This has been indeed a sa^ 
Christmas time for all of us. I happened to be at 
Windsor a fortnight before the Prince was taken ill, 
when the Grand Duke and Duchess Constantine were 
there, and of that large assembly you would have 
thought the Prince the least likely to be taken so 
soon. He was in unusual spirits and apparently full 
of health and happiness. He must have imbibed the 
poison soon after that. At Cambridge he said that he 
had not then slept for fourteen nights. The Queen's 
grief, as you will easily believe, cannot be surpassed, 
but she shows a courage and an amount of fortitude 
that, knowing as we do how deeply she loved him and 
appreciated his noble and great qualities, we can 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 393 

scarcely understand. " She will now live for Her 
Country and Her Children." I think the Queen's 
sobs and tears the day the Court left Windsor were 
heartbreaking to hear. I hear from Osborne that the 
Queen's health is good and that H.M. continues to 
bear up with immense courage ; but, as she says, all 
is now utter desolation. No particular Order has 
been issued for the Household Mourning, but I take 
it for granted that it will be black stuffs and crepe for 
six months at least. 

I am, ever, dearest Eleanor, very affectionately 
yours, Elizabeth Wellington. 

In February 1862, Eleanor Stanley sent in her 
resignation after having served her Sovereign just 
twenty-one years. She was then engaged to her 
cousin, Charles Maitland, afterwards Lord Lauderdale. 
She has left an account of her farewell visit to the 
Queen. 



My last visit to Osborne to take leave : 

Osborne, Thursday night, February 13th, 1862. 

1 came here, "by messenger" as usual, by the 
1 1 A.M. train from Waterloo Station ; had a very calm 
but cold passage in the Fire-Queen, the E/fn being 
laid up ; and on arriving, at four, hearing everybody 
was out, walked to Mrs. Biddulph's ; she was out, 
but I saw her fine boy. Came home to Osborne, 
through the well-known grounds, which now, as well 
as the whole house, wear an indescribable look of 
desolateness. Found Lady Caroline Barrington and 
Lady Jocelyn, and had tea with them ; presently in 



394 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

walked Lady Augusta and Mrs. Bruce ; all wished me 
joy most kindly, and presently my little chat with 
Lady Caroline was interrupted by being summoned 
to receive Princess Alice in my own room, where 
she stepped in, from the Princess Hohenlohe's next 
door. She looks thin and worn, and speaks very 
sadly ; and this deep sorrow has evidently changed 
her from a child to a woman very suddenly, but it 
has also drawn her out and improved, deepened^ her 
mind and character. She spoke much of her father's 
last illness, of his depression and fretfulness, so unlike 
his usual self, and of the Queen's utter desolation. 
She told me her own marriage was to be in June 
next, as originally intended, here in the house, the 
Queen to be present at it, in her widow's weeds, and 
the whole thing consequently to be as private as 
possible ; only the bridesmaids and their mothers to 
be there beyond the necessary persons. 

After dinner, the Queen first sent me a most 
magnificent Indian shawl, with small white centre, 
and then admitted me to take leave ; she looked 
sadly worn and thinned, and very small altogether, 
in her little widow's cap, without strings but with 
streamers behind, and her heavy clinging woollen 
gown. She was very kind, wishing me all the happi- 
ness she had herself enjoyed, but not cut so short ; 
asked much about my prospects and about C. M., was 
glad he was a little younger than I am, because the 
Prince was younger than herself; talked a little of 
her own broken heart and the poor Prince's per- 
fections ; then about her wish not to survive him 
long ; then about Princess Alice's marriage ; and 
finally, kissing me again very aifectionately, dismissed 
me with another warm good wish, and a promise of 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 395 

a photograph of the whole family, which 1 had long 
wished for, as well as portraits of herself and the 
Prince in some kind of stand or ornament, which is 
not yet finished. She was standing, in the middle of 
his dressing-room, where his wash-hand stand and 
things were all arranged, as though ready for him 
(not, however, set out on the dressing-table, as I had 
heard), her own writing-table being set in the window. 
She has slept alone the last few nights ; before, the 
Princess Alice slept in her room ; and one night (the 
first, I believe) Lady Augusta Bruce sat up with her. 
She sleeps tolerably well in general. 

It has been a sad day, saying adieu to all these 
familiar scenes and faces, but I am very glad I was 
allowed to come. Eleanor Julian Stanley. 



On Board the "Fikz-Qvrkn," February i^th, 1862. 

Soon after breakfast I was sent for, from a pleasant 
gossip with Miss Skerrett, to take leave of Princesses 
Helena and Louise ; found both looking well, and in 
fair spirits ; Princess Helena I always think very attrac- 
tive, and Princess Louise strikes me as improved. 
Both were most kind to me, as I may say was every- 
body in the house, masters and servants. I met 
Princess Beatrice in the passage, with her nurse, and 
she called Lady Augusta aside, to ask her confidentially 
whether I was married yet, wondering, I suppose, 
whether matrimony made any difference in one's per- 
sonal appearance. She is a great darling, and a quick 
clever child of her age, and I always hope her little 
innocent cheerfulness may be one of the first things to 
rouse the poor Queen. 

At eleven, punctually, the F. and Albert lay ofF 



396 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Osborne Pier, and the Crown Princess of Prussia and 
her suite landed in boats ; I had scarcely a sight of her, 
her arrival was ordered to be so private, but she seems 
well, and very composed. Lady Jocelyn, who went 
with Princess Alice to the pier to meet her, but re- 
mained at the end, to let the two sisters have a few 
moments to themselves, says that both cried, but not 
very much. Princess Alice most, at first meeting ; but 
that Princess Royal soon composed herself, and walked 
up the pier, with the tears still on her cheeks, but 
with striking dignity and composure, shook hands with 
them all, and got into the carriage to drive up to 
Osborne, quite calmly ; and General Grey said she had 
talked for hours with him yesterday on board the 
yacht, sadly at first, but soon recovering, and speaking 
of the Queen, Prince, and all of them, quite as any 
indifferent third person might have done, also asking 
him whether he thought her coming would do 
good. 

Miss Skerrett told me much about that sad last 
evening ; from Lady Caroline and her I heard pretty 
nearly all that happened ; he died shortly before eleven ; 
the Queen and two elder Princesses stood there for 
some time longer, not knowing what to do, when they 
made the Queen go away, and the Princesses too went 
to bed. The Queen went up to the nursery first, 
kissed little Princess Beatrice, and came down again, 
alone, to her dressing-room, in which she had slept for 
about a fortnight then, the Prince having occupied the 
bedroom at first, and then been moved, twice, into 
larger rooms along the East Terrace. In the dressing- 
room were Lady A. Bruce and two dressers, and 
presently P. of Wales came in, knelt down before her 
and put his arms round her and said : " I will be a 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 397 

good son to you, mother ; I will become everything 
you wish," and she kissed him, crying. After a few 
minutes Lady Augusta said to the Maids they had 
better undress the Queen and put her to bed ; which 
was done, one of the maids staying there all night. 
The next night Lady Augusta slept in the room with 
her ; and since then, till about ten days ago. Princess 
Louise or Princess Alice has slept with her ; but she 
now sleeps alone, with a bell to her maid's room close 
by, but not opening into hers ; her bedroom has two 
doors, of which she locks one from the inside, and the 
maid takes the key of the other with her, after locking 
it from the outside. I hear she still has the Prince's 
dressing-gown hung over the chair by the bedside, as 
if he were expected, and takes something of his to bed 
with her to hold. All this is very sad, but very 
natural. 



Lady Churchill to the Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

St. Clare, July 3rd, 1862. 

My dear Eleanor, — I received your letter be- 
fore leaving Osborne, and having a few spare moments 
(a very rare occurrence) I'll write you a few lines. 
You will have seen the account of the wedding in the 
papers, and who were at it ; it went off very well. 
The Queen was in the room (the dining-room) in a 
remote corner, seated in an arm-chair, in her deep 
mourning, in no centre notice, the four Princes close 
to her, and her Mistress of the Robes and the Duchess 
of Athole close behind her chair. She was wonder- 
fully calm the whole time. Princess Alice looked 
very well, and was quite composed, the four Princesses 



398 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

looked very nice ; after it was over the Princess Alice 
came and shook hands with all and then went away 
at five. She left for their place in a chariot and 
four, General Symon and Mdme. Westerman followed 
in a barouche and four. This is a lovely little place, 
quite the spot for a honeymoon and the young couple 
are very happy ; it is a great pity that it rains 
furiously this morning, and it did for the greater part 
of yesterday. We return to Osborne to-morrow or the 
next day, not decided yet ; the Queen comes this after- 
noon just to pay a visit to the Princess ; she is very 
well and happy. 

Next Tuesday we embark from Osborne for . . . (?) 
and arrive at Darmstadt on the I2th. No one was 
in black at the wedding, in grey or lilac, we began 
the morning in black — and the others all plunged into 
it again directly after ; I remained in lilac, as Princess 
Alice wore white for the day, it was quite odd to me, 
to be in light colours again. I am back in black now. 
I'll look out for cyphers for you. The Hessian ladies 
are very good-natured, but oh ! most awful dressers, 
with hats, antiquated, ugly. ... I hope your father 
and mother are well. Please remember me to them, 
and ever, dear Eleanor, believe me, very affectionately 
yours, Jane Churchill. 



Countess of Verulam to the Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

GoRHAMBURY, NEAR St. Albans, December ist, 1862. 

My dear Eleanor, — It seems a long time since I 
have heard from you, pray let me have some tidings. 
I shall direct to Grosvenor Square to be forwarded, for 
I hope you are not in London during this very foggy 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 399 

weather. I have been staying here since the middle 
of August — We expect to-morrow the pleasure of 
seeing dear Jane Caledon, she came over about three 
weeks ago for a fortnight's waiting at Windsor, which 
terminates to-morrow ; she remains a week, that is, 
to the 8th, when her son Caledon's Christmas 
Holidays begin. She will take him and his next 
brother to Ireland there to join the other two children 
to remain till the end of January, when she means to 
come to Carlton Terrace with all her family. Jane is 
quite charmed with the Princess Alexandra,^ so all 
persons seem to be who come in contact with her. 
Princess Alice is quite the same, so kind and pleasing, 
a little more matronly, which becomes her. The 
Queen Jane thinks very much improved in spirits 
since the last time she was in waiting, which was the 
middle of July. 

I received a letter last week from our old friend 
Lord Harris which gave me much pleasure. He had 
been staying a few days here and left us last Monday, 
and on his arrival in South Street found a letter from 
Sir Charles Phipps summoning him by the Queen's 
command to Windsor, which of course he obeyed, and 
there the Queen in the most gracious manner offered 
him the place of Chamberlain to the Princess of Wales. 
This was entirely unexpected and unsolicited, and alto- 
gether very gratifying. 

There is to be a great Annual Ball at Hatfield on 
Friday the 5th December. It is always in the end of 
November or beginning of December. The Verulams 
are filling this house for it and have been lucky in 
getting eight dancing men to take and but four young 

* Princess Alexandra, eldest daughter of King Christian IV of 
Denmark, m. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on loth March 1863. 



400 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

ladies. Do you know Lady Louisa Boyle ? ' Her 
Marriage with Lord Essex is quite settled, but not to 
take place till a year has passed since Lady Essex's 
death. Jane says that the Wedding of the Prince of 
Wales is to take place in the month of March. Pray 
let me soon have the pleasure of hearing from you, 
and believe me ever, dear Eleanor, yours very affec- 
tionately, Charlotte Verulam. 



Lady Caroline Barrington to the 
Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

Windsor, February igth, 1862. 

The Queen has borne up wonderfully with the 
utmost fortitude and resignation ! The Mausoleum, 
as you know, was consecrated on Wednesday by the 
Bishop of Oxford, who read the Prayers very well — 
only to my fancy rather too slow, and too pompous. 
I know it is heresy saying this, but I only speak as to 
my own feelings. The Hymns were very touching, 
and I feared the Queen would have broken down — 
but she did not. 

Yesterday the ceremony was much more painful 
to me. All the Household in Waiting attended, the 
Dean wrote some prayers for the occasion. We all 
waited at the entrance (the day before we were taken 
to our places before the Queen arrived) until the 
Queen came, the Dean walked in first, then the Queen 
with all her children, followed by the Household, and 
as we entered we were all given a wreath. As soon 
as the Prayers were over the Queen with her children 

^ Lady Louisa Boyle, elder daughter of Charles, Viscount Dun- 
garvan, m. 1863, Arthur, sixth Earl of Essex, 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 401 

went up to the tomb (a temporary stone sarcophagus 
with a Plaster cast of a recumbent figure of the Prince 
by Marochetti ^), knelt down and put down the wreaths ; 
the Queen went quite behind the tomb where no one 
could see her and then burst out crying. The 
Princesses also cried after remaining on their knees a 
short time ; they got up and left the Mausoleum, then 
the Duchess of Athole, followed by all the Ladies, 
knelt and put down their wreaths. The gentlemen 
followed the ladies, and then we all came away ; I 
trust this is the last of these mournful ceremonies ! 
My brother Charles goes to Newcross to-night ; he 
has a three weeks' leave of absence, his wife and 
children remain here. Pray give my love to Lady 
Mary, I have not time for more. — Yours very affec- 
tionately, C. Harrington. 



Lady Caroline Barr'tngton to the 
Hon. Eleanor Stanley 

Osborne, January 6/A, 1864. 

Dear Eleanor, — You cannot be as cold as we 
are here ! The draughts all over the house are not 
to be described ; the German Governess asked Princess 
Beatrice the other day what windows were made for } 
"To let in wind'''' was her immediate reply, and a 
more exact description of the Osborne windows there 
could not be. This is certainly not a winter House — 
but I never felt such cold weather here before. I 
hope it will not last long. The Fountain on the 
Terrace is lovely with fringes of long icicles hanging 
firom it. The Queen now wears a modified cap in 

* Carlo, BaroD Marochetti, 1 805-1 867. 

2C 



402 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

Tulle or Crepe . . . like a Marie Stuart's cap, a 
little Point going back at the sides, with her hair 
combed back and frizzed out — it is most becoming, 
and she looks as nice as possible with her gown not 
quite as high in the evenings and a diamond cross. 
She looks well but complains of feeling weak. 

Mr. Max MoUer ^ is here to give two lectures on the 
Origin of Language — the Queen with the Children 
and Household attends them. I have a good deal 
to do, so I will say good-bye, with my love to your 
Parents. — Ever, dear Eleanor, yours very affection- 
ately, C. Barrington. 



The series of letters ends with the death of the 
Prince Consort, and although there are some written 
at a later date, when the writer was in waiting as 
Extra Honorary Maid of Honour, they are without 
general interest. 

Miss Stanley's engagement to Mr. Maitland 
appears to have been broken off very soon after her 
resignation; on December ii, 1866, she married, as 
his fourth wife, Lieut.-Colonel Samuel Long, ot 
Bromley Hill, Kent, who was a cousin on her mother's 
side, and whose first wife had been a Stanley. Mrs. 
Long brought up her two stepdaughters, the children 
of Colonel Long's third wife, Emily Herbert, sister of 
Mr. Henry Herbert, of Muckross Abbey, Killarney ; 
as they grew up she took them out in London, where 
she entertained a good deal, and where they married — 

* Friedrich Max Muller, 1823-1900. 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT 403 

the elder the Honourable Richard Dawson, third son 
of the first Earl of Dartrey, and the younger the 
Honourable Hugh Elliot, third son of the third Earl of 
Minto. After Colonel Long's death in 1 8 8 1 , his widow 
settled in Bryanston Square, where she lived next door 
to her former colleague. Lady Congleton, and where 
she died- on January 21, 1903, aged eighty-one. 

During the latter years of her life she was sur- 
rounded by her nephews and niece, the children of her 
sister, the Countess of Dartrey, spending much of her 
time with Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dawson at Holne 
Park, and with Mary, Countess of Ilchester, at Mel- 
bury ; she also often visited her stepdaughter, Mrs. 
Elliot, at Corwar, Newton Stewart. 

Besides being a good letter-writer, Mrs. Long was 
also a good talker, and had many stories to relate of 
her past life. Born when George IV was king, she 
lived to see the opening years of the reign of Edward 
VII, whom she remembered as a child, and to whom 
so many allusions are made in the letters. One of her 
most interesting reminiscences was that of a conversa- 
tion she had with the Crown Prince of Germany at 
the Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, when she 
was grieved to find that he could only speak in a 
whisper. 

Devoted to music, it was perhaps her talent for 
water-colour drawing that provided the most engross- 
ing occupation of her life. The late Queen Victoria, 
when speaking of her to Mary, Lady Ilchester, in the 



404 TWENTY YEARS AT COURT 

eighties, remarked that her sketches did more justice 
to the beauties of Deeside than did any others that she 
had seen. 

Mrs. Long, who was two years younger than her 
royal Mistress, survived her two years, and was 
consequently about the same age when she passed 
away. 



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